Zipline, the San Francisco-based startup with operations in five African countries will spread its drone operations on the continent, it has acquired funding to increase its operation to fly high on the continent.
The US start-up which designs, manufactures, and deploys drones to deliver blood as well as medical and veterinary products to difficult-to-reach areas has raised $330 million.
The latest round of funding, raised from unnamed investors, is the Californian Company’s sixth Series F since it was launched in 2011.
Zipline tapped Rwanda in 2016, before setting up more operations in Ghana (2019), Nigeria, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire (2022).
In a statement a Zipline spokesperson said “We recently closed our Series F funding round at an increased valuation, which involved several new and existing investors. We are well capitalized to continue to grow our operations, including launching our new home delivery service.”
“We look forward to continuing to build the world’s first logistics system that serves all humans equally and brings faster and more environmentally friendly delivery to anyone, anywhere.” New investors have not been disclosed by the start-up” The statement read.
The investment comes on the back of Zipline’s announcement of the Platform 2, aka P2 Zip (pictured below), a new autonomous drone with an eight-pound payload and a range of 10 miles.
The new platform is expected to deliver up to seven times as fast as traditional delivery, completing 10-mile deliveries in around 10 minutes.
Alternatively, P2 can also fly up to 24 miles one way from dock to dock, charging at each dock as it goes. Being able to move from dock to dock, Zipline says it can respond to peak order times, ensuring delivery capacity is maintained.
Founded in 2013, the firm launched its services in Rwanda in 2016 before expanding to Ghana. Zipline now operates internationally in Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and Japan, whilst also running domestic services in Arkansas, North Carolina and Utah.
Completing a delivery every 90 seconds on average, Zipline has made almost 600,000 deliveries and flown 40m autonomous miles. Completing more deliveries in 2022 than in all previous years combined, the firm is planning to complete about 1m deliveries by the end of 2023.