Natilus Lifts Off with Autonomous Air Freight

By Pioneers Production Team

One of the exciting parts of working with startup companies is encountering founders who start with an idea, gather a group of like-minded, passionate individuals, and then despite remarkable odds, make their vision come true. 

Natilus is a company that produces autonomous cargo aircraft, aiming to revolutionize the global air freight business. Co-founder Aleksey Matyushev participated in an earlier Siemens Pioneers podcast posted back in January of 2021, and now we’ve invited him back to discuss all the exciting changes at Natilus over the last two years.

In this episode, he shares the company’s journey towards commercial success. We learn about Natilus’ growth in personnel, the expansion of their physical facilities, and their progress in building a full-scale prototype. Aleksey also discusses the challenges they’ve faced, including the pilot shortage and supply chain issues, and how they’ve navigated them to come out on top. He highlights the importance of technology, efficient team structures, and partnerships with key suppliers in overcoming these challenges. The conversation also touches upon Natilus’ plans, potential product expansions, and the significance of sustainability as Natilus scales.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • How the pandemic impacted the startup ecosystem (4:59)
  • The recent Silicon Valley Bank collapse and its effect on startup funding (7:44)
  • The concept of “Dry Powder” in the aviation industry (12:47)
  • How long it takes to raise money for a startup and the funding process (17:34)
  • Natilus’ focus on developing cargo aircraft in the aviation market (19:16)
  • Natilus’ relocation from San Francisco to San Diego (28:52)
  • Challenges faced by Natilus in the last two years, including supply chain issues (37:42)
  • Advice from Aleksey to fellow entrepreneurs (52:09)

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Guest: Aleksey Matyushev

Guest: Aleksey Matyushev

Aleksey Matyushev serves as CEO of Natilus. Early in his career, he was the Lead Aerodynamicist at Piper Aircraft, helping to lead the department through programs including the PiperJet Altaire, the M600 and other future designs. Later, at Kratos Defense he served as the aerodynamics lead on military UAV systems. After Kratos, through his consulting practice, Aleksey supported a multitude of General Aviation and UAS programs in aircraft design, performance, stability & control, flight testing, loads, CFD and certification. Aleksey holds an Aerospace Engineering degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Host: Kevin Blevins

Host: Kevin Blevins

Kevin Blevins is the Portfolio Development Executive for SMB and Startup Companies and manages the Siemens Digital Industries Software Startup Program. He works with the Siemens sales organizations as well as Siemens Partners to engage and evangelize the Siemens Startup Program in the Americas. Kevin has spent more than 35 years in the Engineering and Manufacturing software industry. Prior to this he spent seven years in the automotive design industry. Kevin has been with Siemens for 33 years. During this time, he has held positions in Technical Support, Technical Sales Support Leadership, Sales Director for the Automotive Region, Partner Sales Executive, and his current position. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI.

Natilus was co-founded by Aleksey Matyushev and Anatoly Star in 2016 to commoditize the freight transport industry through innovation and advanced technology. Their mission is to reduce air freight costs to lower the cost of food in stores, level the barriers in cross-border trade and help connect low infrastructure areas to the rest of the world. For more information, visit Natilus – Reinventing Global Air Freight

Pioneers: Startups from Dreams to Reality Podcast

Pioneers: Startups from Dreams to Reality

Ideas alone can’t change the world. It takes grit, and serious funding. In Pioneers, host Kevin Blevins sits down with startup founders to discuss the startup lifestyle- from concept to execution- and the big ideas that fuel these pioneers. From the future of farming to autonomous flight, there’s no frontier too far.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/podcasts/startups/natilus-lifts-off-with-autonomous-air-freight/