Drone delivery company Zipline raises US$250m for expansion

RWANDA – Zipline, arguably the world’s largest drone delivery service for medical supplies which was founded in Rwanda has raised US$250 million in new equity financing, bringing the company’s valuation to US$2.75 billion.

The new financing will enable Zipline to continue advancing its integrated service, including its autonomy platform, aircraft, fulfilment systems, and operations.

According to the firm, they will use the funding to further expand their logistics networks in Africa and the United States and also use the funding w to build out infrastructure for new service contracts for four new distribution centres in Ghana and five in Nigeria, and other service contracts with hospital systems in the United States.

The funding will also fuel continued expansion into new industries and geographies, transforming systems like healthcare and commerce with instant logistics.

New investors in the firm include Fidelity, Intercorp, Emerging Capital Partners and Reinvent Capital.

Existing investors involved in the recent financing round include Baillie Gifford, Temasek and Katalyst Ventures.

“Together, we have completed hundreds of thousands of deliveries of blood, medicines and vaccines, and today Zipline makes a commercial delivery every four minutes”

Keller Rinaudo – Founder & CEO, Zipline

Keller Rinaudo, the Founder and Chief Executive of Zipline said that they are keen on building on the growth registered in the past year, using the technology to bring instant logistics to more partners, communities, and people.

“Around the world, our partners are reimagining how patients access to care with fast, reliable, on-demand delivery. Together, we have completed hundreds of thousands of deliveries of blood, medicines and vaccines, and today Zipline makes a commercial delivery every four minutes,” he said.

Among the adjustments made by the firm in the last year include expanding service hours in Rwanda to offer 24/7 autonomous delivery service; entering the Japanese Market through a partnership with Toyota Group, as well as a partnership with Pfizer to design and test a delivery for COVID-19 vaccines.

Zipline commenced operations in 2016, following a partnership with the Rwandan Government to commence what was then the first national-scale commercial drone delivery.

In recent years, the model has been adopted in multiple countries on the continent and beyond including Ghana, Nigeria, United States and Japan, among others.

This is in line with the country’s ambitions of serving of delivering innovation and technology products and services.

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