Venture-backed commercial drone company Volansi recruits Dr. Will Roper to CEO role after serving on the Volansi Board. Co-founder Hannan Parvizian moves to the role of Chief Technology Officer and Product Architect.

SAN FRANCISCO, JULY 8, 2021 – ​Volansi​, the leader in autonomous, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) delivery drones for medium to heavy-weight payloads, today announced the appointment of Dr. Will Roper, one of the country’s foremost experts on aerospace transformation, as its new Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Roper joined the Volansi board of directors in March 2021. Volansi’s primary venture capital investors are Lightspeed Venture Partners and Icon Ventures.

Dr. Will Roper, CEO

Dr. Roper served as Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, where he oversaw an annual budget of $60 billion. Since leaving government in January 2021, he has been an advisor and board member for technology and investment companies.

“As a Volansi board member, I’ve been impressed by the company’s capacity for innovation,” said Dr. Will Roper. “The company’s VTOL designs are well-suited for a range of commercial and military applications. It felt like a natural fit for me to bring my industry knowledge as well as operations and logistics experience to help create disruptive solutions for the transportation of medium to heavy weight payloads. It’s an exciting opportunity.”

While serving in the Air Force, Roper was responsible for all research and development, test, production, modernization, and logistics efforts for the Air Force and Space Force. Dr. Roper was the U.S. government leader in identifying and supporting private sector technology companies to get access to Department of Defense resources. He led Air Force-wide technology transformations for software development, artificial intelligence, and digital engineering. He also initiated high-tech programs for hypersonic weapons, autonomous drones, and a militarized internet of things, all while overseeing the day-to-day logistics of over 5,000 military aircraft and support systems. 

Hannan Parvizian, CTO and Product Architect

“At Volansi, we are very proud of having assembled a world-class team and demonstrated a track record of technical excellence in design, test, and production,” said founding CEO Hannan Parvizian. “Attracting Dr. Roper, first to our Board of Directors and now as CEO, will help us surpass even our most ambitious goals. I look forward to working alongside him in my new role as the new Chief Technology Officer and Product Architect to set the vision and strategic direction for the company’s future.”

Dr. Roper joins a growing executive leadership team at Volansi that includes former members of successful tech companies and global logistics companies like FedEx. “I am delighted to announce Will as Volansi’s new CEO and Hannan as its new CTO and Product Architect,” said Board Chairman Paul Ricci. “We are excited about the leadership team and the future of this rapidly growing company.”

About Volansi: 

Volansi provides fast, on-demand aerial delivery services for time-critical shipments over long ranges. We build and operate autonomous long-range, medium-to-heavyweight payload drones for commercial, federal, and humanitarian applications. Leveraging drone technology as a transportation method, we help our customers gain control of their supply chain by delivering critical equipment, essential supplies and humanitarian aid where it otherwise faced unpredictable delays– saving time, money, and lives. To learn more, visit Volansi.com or follow us on Twitter @volans_i.

 

Hutton brings 20+ years of experience in the public and private sectors, including the professional staff of the Senate Appropriations and Senate Armed Services Committees, and in the offices of Sens. John McCain and Joe Manchin.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2021 – Volansi, the leader in autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) point-to-point drone delivery services, today announced the appointment of Church Hutton as the company’s Vice President of Government Affairs. In his new position, Hutton will help Volansi deliver relevant and innovative capabilities to government customers at the speed of commerce.

“We’re delighted to welcome Church to the Volansi team and are looking forward to the expertise and new ideas he will bring to the table,” said Volansi CEO and Co-founder, Hannan Parvizian. “Church’s deep knowledge and experience in government relations will help us sharpen our focus on the federal portion of our business at a pivotal time for business growth.”

Hutton brings a unique perspective to the Volansi team with 20+ years of experience in both the public and private sectors. His most recent position was at Sierra Nevada Corporation, an innovative aerospace and electronics integrator, where he was head of legislative affairs. In that role, Hutton and his team partnered with government agencies and Congress to increase competition in federal programs, expand the national security industrial base, break vendor lock, and accelerate the pace of innovation in government programs. 

Prior to the private sector, Hutton spent 12 years in senior national security staff positions on Capitol Hill where he served on the professional staff of the Senate Appropriations and Senate Armed Services Committees, and in the offices of Sens. John McCain and Joe Manchin. He has a reputation for collaboration across the political spectrum and a deep understanding of national security policy and budgeting. 

“I am grateful to Hannan and the rest of the Volansi team for this opportunity,” said Hutton. “We’re being asked to provide federal agencies with systems and capabilities at a fraction of the cost of traditional programs while innovating and improving performance at much higher cycle times than operational users are accustomed to. Now is our time to show we can compete at this level.” 

About Volansi: 

Volansi provides fast, on-demand aerial delivery services for time-critical materials over long ranges. We build and operate long-range, heavy-payload drones for commercial, federal and humanitarian applications. Leveraging drone technology as a transportation method, we help our customers gain control of their supply chain by delivering critical equipment, essential supplies and humanitarian aid where it otherwise faced unpredictable delays – saving time, costs and lives. To learn more, visit volansi.com or follow us on Twitter.

Smith’s distinguished career and expertise in global supply chain logistics to further bolster market leading VTOL drone delivery services 

 

SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2021 – Volansi, the leader in vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) point-to-point drone delivery services, today announced the appointment of Marvin Smith as the company’s new Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development. In his new position, Smith will build a customer-centric, partner-engaging, and high-performance organization, continuing to position Volansi as the global leader in drone delivery for years to come.  

Smith comes to Volansi from FedEx Worldwide Services, where he was managing director for over two decades. In that role, his group partnered with some of FedEx’s most strategic customers in delivering global business solutions, managing close to $1B in revenue. He was pivotal in the design and creation of Worldwide Services, the global sales arm of FedEx. His experience there also included work in operations, field sales, and global sales training. 

“We’re thrilled to have Marvin join our team. At this stage of our growth journey, it was critical for us to find someone that had a people-first focus, customer mindset, global revenue expertise, and an intimate understanding of the global supply chain landscape,” said Volansi CEO and Co-founder Hannan Parvizian.

Smith’s 30-plus years of experience at FedEx will help Volansi build a team that takes its market expansion efforts to the next level. Having worked in various verticals, he will provide a unique perspective of supply chain challenges and opportunities from around the world.

“I’m grateful to be joining the Volansi team. Knowing the great people, market-leading solutions, and an ecosystem vision to maximize growth, it’s the perfect opportunity to leverage my experience and be part of a world-changing growth story similar to what we did at FedEx,” Smith said. “The building blocks are in place to change logistics as the world knows it and help us grow exponentially.” 

By Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volansi

We have some big and exciting news to share: Volansi has closed its Series B round of financing, having raised $50 million. The round was led by Icon Ventures and included all our existing investors, including LightSpeed Ventures, Y Combinator, and One Planet, and saw the addition of new investors, including Harpoon Ventures and Graphene Ventures.

Icon Ventures is a Palo Alto and San Francisco-based venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. They specialize in Series B and C financing of exciting technologies with visionary teams. They understand what makes a company a category winner- shown time and again by their portfolio of successful exits, which includes enviable tech companies such as Aster Data (Teradata), Bill.com (BILL), FireEye (FEYE), 41st Parameter (Experian), Infinera (INFN), MoPub (Twitter), Opcity (News Corp), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Proofpoint (PFPT) and Teladoc (TDOC).

Building on our Momentum

This is the third equity round for Volansi, bringing our total funding to $75 million (USD).
So, what do we plan to do with it? For starters, we’re going to accelerate the use of drone delivery in the US and global emerging markets.

With the support of our Series A partners, we developed and brought to market first-of-their-kind autonomous drones and launched select customer projects around the world – changing the face of the VTOL UAV market as we know it. The Series B financing allows Volansi to build on this momentum.

This is great news for you. We know you want us to continue pushing the envelope of mobility and robotics. We know you want us to change the face of logistics. And we know you want us to continue launching new projects and scaling current ones, both in emerging markets around the world and especially here in the US.

This funding will help make this happen.

With just over 65 team members in Northern California, Arizona, and Africa, we will continue to grow our team – adding engineers, developers, and operators, and building our support and success teams to reinforce our growing projects across the globe.

I send a heartfelt thank you to our investors and advisors for their continued confidence, to our customers and partners who continue to amaze us with their passion, support, and feedback, and of course to the entire team here at Volansi.

There’s lots to do- and we’re all on board and excited to make it happen.

Now it’s time to get back to work on our mission: changing the way things move from one place to another and accelerating the world’s freedom from the limitations of traditional infrastructure.

 

Click here to read the full announcement of Volansi’s Series B funding