Soon, drones could be delivering your Zomato orders
In a bid to expand its presence in India, Zomato has taken a step towards drone-based food delivery. The service, which already claims to deliver 22 million orders per month, has acquired a Lucknow-based start-up working exclusively on drones - TechEagle Innovations. With them, it will work on multi-rotor UAVs capable of handling/delivering payloads up to 5kgs. Here are the details.
TechEagle Innovations: What do they do?
TechEagle Innovations was started by IIT-Kanpur graduate Vikram Singh Meena in 2015 - when he was still in college. Over the years, Meena and his team have developed and demonstrated remotely controlled unmanned aerial vehicles capable of making deliveries. They had even shared a video of 'Chai delivery'. However, their ultimate goal has been to develop UAVs capable of delivering payloads up to 5kgs.
How much Zomato paid for the acquisition
Zomato, which had also acquired delivery fleet start-up Runnr in 2017, didn't disclose the exact details of the latest deal. However, the goal of the food tech giant is clear - it wants to employ TechEagle's drone expertise to develop the UAVs required for hub-to-hub deliveries. This means a drone could be ferrying your Zomato order in a few years.
However, this acquisition is just a start
Having said that, it is worth noting that this acquisition is just the first step towards achieving a future of drone-based deliveries. The exact timeline for accomplishing this mission is not clear, and Zomato has itself stressed on taking 'baby steps' in that direction. "We are currently at the early stage of aerial innovations," Deepinder Goyal, CEO of Zomato, said in a statement.
This is Zomato and TechEagle's first mission
"Our first 'delivery job' currently is to design multi-rotor drones that can pick up a payload under 5 kg and set up drone delivery circuits for reducing the last mile delivery leg," Goyal stated while adding that robot-based delivery is part of an inevitable future.