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Zipline International Inc has collected $25 million in a Series B funding round to broaden their philanthropic delivery drone business in Rwanda, the US and beyond. The company creates drones and runs a delivery service. By using drones to deliver medical supplies, the company can provide those crucial items to those desperately in need in places that are not easily accessible. This service can ultimately be the lifeline for those who may be cut off from the rest of the world.
Zipline has already enacted a national program for Rwandan clinics to deliver blood on-demand. These clinics are currently providing for six million people. In the coming months, the Rwandan government is looking to expand Zipline’s services to reach the entire country. That is 11 million people who will benefit from the availability of these lifesaving supplies. In the near future Zipline looks to initiate the delivery of other medical supplies such as anti-venoms, vaccines and rabies treatments.
The drones can complete trips up to 93 miles. The fixed-wing drones will fly over the hospital or clinic and release the medical supplies from its belly. The package will then slowly descend to its destination by way of parachute. This is a relatively safe and cost-effective way to deliver crucial medical supplies to those in need. In fact, the cost of using drones as compared to vehicular delivery is expected to be roughly the same.
With the added funding of $25 million, the company’s total capital raised is now up to $43 million. This new funding gives them the opportunity to hire more people, expand their technology development and set up new Zipline aerial delivery systems in new markets perhaps in Indonesia, Vietnam and the US. The use of drones to deliver lifesaving medical supplies could have a huge impact for many and would be a great benefit to any and all countries.