According to a report in TechCrunch, Zipline is working with the Ghanaian government to operate 30 drones from four distribution centers so that vaccines, blood, and life-saving medications can be distributed to 2,000 health facilities across Ghana on a daily basis. In an interview with the news outlet, Zipline Chief Executive Officer Keller Rinaudo said Zipline will do 600 flights each day, serving 12 million people.
“This is going to be the largest drone delivery network on the planet,” Rinaudo said in the report. In a statement to the publication, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana is launching the world’s largest drone delivery service to prevent people from dying because they can’t access to medicine. “That’s why Ghana is launching the world’s largest drone delivery service … a major step toward giving everyone in this country universal access to lifesaving medicine,” said Addo.
With the program in Ghana, Zipline now serves two countries. It started with Rwanda and has begun testing the delivery of medical services via drones in the U.S. Zipline has raised $41 million from investors since launching and has been in Africa since 2016. Investors in the company include Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, Yahoo Co-Founder Jerry Yang and Subtraction Capital.
Zipline CEO Rinaudo said the company is eyeing expansion into more countries. The executive said Zipline will launch in several additional countries and that not all of them will be in Africa, but did not provide specific details. And while the company is focused on moving medical supplies, the CEO told the news outlet it could move beyond medical supplies into more commercial operations. A company spokesperson confirmed that in the U.S. Zipline is gearing up to do live delivery of medical supplies sometime this summer, according to the report.