It is hard not to be impressed by Ziplines vision for Drone technology. The Californian company has just secured an additional $25 million in funding (meaning it has raised $43 million to-date) to expand its humanitarian delivery drone business in Rwanda.
The company drones are currently being used to drop crucial medical supplies to hospitals or clinics that simply cannot be reached by land.
The startup builds drones and runs delivery services, dropping crucial medical supplies to clinics or hospitals in areas that aren’t accessible by land. Its most recent project has seen its drones deliver blood on-demand to clinics serving a population of more than 6 million people.
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CEO and cofounder Keller Rinaudo. said, “We have instant delivery of dinner from companies like Doordash, or groceries from Instacart, so we thought we can do this for medical products.”
Zipline intend to use the funding to expand its service to reach all of Rwanda’s 11 million citizens over the next year, as well as supplying products like vaccines, rabies treatments and anti-venoms.
The money will be used to take on more staff, fund additional research and explore new markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia and even the USA. The main roadblock for drone use in the USA currently is a lack of regulatory approval as the government struggles with how to handle the new mode of transportation. The size and geography of the USA means there are many rural areas without instant access to blood or vaccines, where a drone network could save lives.