Zipline, the world’s biggest drone delivery company operating at large-scale, has doubled in valuation to $2.75 billion.
The US-based drone operator was founded in 2014 and has found great success in Africa, completing over 150,000 missions in the last five years delivering supplies to hospitals such as blood, medicines and vaccines.
It counts Walmart and Pfizer as two of its public backers, with the former expanding its partnership with the drone operator earlier this year.
Zipline’s chief executive Keller Rinaudo said the company had tripled its bookings goal last year as there was a global shortage in medical supplies during the pandemic.
“Suddenly, the need for instant logistics is incredibly apparent to every health system owner,” he told the Financial Times.
Drone delivery has gained pace within the last 12 months however growth in the space is held back by regulatory bodies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
But Rinaudo said that he expected the company to receive a permit for wider operations for its long-distance and unmanned delivery service
“We are now on the one-yard line. It’s super exciting that the FAA is committed to this and working as hard as they are to make sure that the US doesn’t fall behind in this fundamental new area of technology,” he added from Zipline’s San Francisco headquarters.
“We manufacture it here and then we operate nine global distribution centres serving about 25m people.
“We deliver, every day, to 2,500 hospitals and health facilities across Rwanda, Ghana and the United States, and we’re adding Nigeria and Japan in the next couple of months.”
According to data from Deloitte, the advanced air mobility market is projected to reach a $11bn industry in the US alone by 2035, employing 280,000.
You can watch Charged’s summation of the drone retail delivery space here