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Zipline’s drone delivery of pharmaceuticals earns $2.75B valuation

‘Hundreds of thousands of deliveries of blood, medicines and vaccines’ already made

Zipline raises $250 million in a Series E round led by Baillie Gifford. (Photo: Zipline)

The supply chain fantasy is the ability to deliver directly to every person anywhere in the world.

Drone manufacturer Zipline, which specializes in medical supply deliveries, wants to make that dream a reality and Thursday announced its $250 million in new funding led by Baillie Gifford with participation from past investors Temasek and Katalyst Ventures and new investors Fidelity, Intercorp, Emerging Capital Partners and Reinvent Capital. With the new funds comes a $2.75 billion valuation.

“Our mission is to create the first logistics company that serves all humans equally. Around the world, our partners are reimagining how patients access care with fast, reliable on-demand delivery,” said Keller Rinaudo, founder and CEO at Zipline, in the release. “Together we have completed hundreds of thousands of deliveries of blood, medicines and vaccines, and today Zipline makes a commercial delivery every four minutes. 

“In the past year, we have seen major growth in every market, including the U.S., and we’re continuing to build on our proven track record and technology to bring instant logistics to more partners, communities and people,” Rinaudo said.

Funding Details: Zipline

Funding amount$250 million
Funding roundSeries E
Lead investorBaillie Gifford
Secondary investorsTemasek, Katalyst Ventures, Fidelity, Intercorp, Emerging Capital Partners, Reinvent Capital
Business goalsExpand into new industries and geographies
Last valuation$1.2 billion (2019)
Post-money valuation$2.75 billion
Total funding$483 million

Large enterprises have partnered with Zipline over the last year to provide on-demand delivery of medical supplies, including Toyota (NYSE:TM), which manages its medical supplies distribution center powered by the company’s aircraft; Walmart (NYSE:WMT) for delivery of health and wellness products to its customers; and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) for delivery of vaccines in countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Rwanda, where Zipline delivers 75% of the country’s blood supply around the clock.

These partnerships have led to over 10 million miles flown with 96% on-time performance and a 94% fulfillment rate.

The Zipline drone does not need to land on the ground and instead moves to a lower altitude and drops the cardboard containers by paper parachute to deliver up to 4 pounds of product within a 50-mile radius of its departure, eliminating the need for someone to remove the package from the drone.

The company will continue to expand its operations globally and into markets outside of health care while working with regulators to receive full commercial operating certification to deliver to homes across the globe.

“Zipline’s delivery service has transformed national health systems and expanded access to care for millions of people,” said Tom Slater, head of the U.S. equities team at Baillie Gifford. “With Zipline, we can imagine a world in which anyone could have access to anything in a matter of minutes. The team has created the first automated logistics infrastructure that can support instant delivery at scale and is now rapidly expanding to serve more people and tap into the surging demand for the service around the world.”

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]