One of the vital well-known drone supply corporations on the market has simply landed a key rent whose resume consists of former Tesla CFO — and who additionally has ties to Alphabet, the corporate previously often known as Google.
California-based drone firm Zipline introduced in September that it has employed Deepak Ahuja to function its first ever Chief Enterprise and Chief Monetary Officer. Ahuja’s work historical past consists of former Tesla CFO in addition to former Verily CFO, which is a life sciences analysis group that’s a part of Alphabet.
His first day within the new position as Zipline CFO is about for Sept. 30, and his tasks will embody overseeing international monetary operations, which embody finance, accounting and investor relations.
Ahuja not the one large rent not too long ago over at Zipline. The corporate additionally not too long ago added its first ever Chief Advertising and marketing Officer, Ashley Chandler, who joins from previous roles at Coloration Well being, Stripe and Google.
Zipline is essentially thought-about to be the most important drone service supplier on the planet given its presence in lots of international locations, (primarily creating international locations in Africa together with Rwanda and Ghana). To date it has delivered greater than 380,000 packages over greater than 25 million autonomous miles, principally consisting of medical provides like blood, vaccines, prescriptions and COVID-related provides.
Extra not too long ago, it has added on deliveries within the retail sector with extra conventional e-commerce objects. In reality, simply earlier this month, Zipline introduced a partnership with African e-commerce platform Jumia to make use of drones to ship its merchandise (which vary from electronics to clothes to magnificence merchandise) by way of drone in Ghana, with plans to increase elsewhere in Africa.
And Zipline continues to develop at a comparatively speedy clip. Whereas Zipline began 2021 with operations in simply three international locations, at this time Zipline operates in seven international locations throughout three continents. It even conducts drone deliveries in the US. Zipline claims that it completes, on common, one supply each two minutes. For context, Zipline accomplished as many deliveries final month because it did within the entirety of 2019.
“Because it was based, Zipline has centered on constructing options that may ship huge scale at excessive ranges of automation and integration, and at low operational value,” Ahuja mentioned. “Zipline is subsequently in a novel place to be a serious drive in fixing this downside at scale.”
Different current wins for Zipline embody receiving FAA Half 135 approval for its long-range drone supply service within the U.S., a partnership with the Toyota Tsusho Company, and the launch of a novel, new Detection and Avoidance (DAA) system that makes use of a acoustic-based know-how (relatively than visible sensor-based tech). And earlier this summer season, NASA introduced a partnership beneath a Area Act Settlement the place Zipline will assist develop instruments and strategies beneath NASA’s (m:N) challenge.