Restaurant discovery and food delivery firm Zomato has acquired Lucknow-based drone delivrey startup TechEagle Innovations, for an undisclosed amount, to carve a path toward drone-based food delivery in India.
TechEagle Innovations, which we featured in May this year, is an IIT-Kanpur alumni startup allows to take orders through a food app and deliver it through drone can carry weight up to 2 kg and can travel a distance of up to 10 kilometer.
The acquisition will help Zomato in creating a hub-to-hub delivery network powered by hybrid multi-rotor drones, Zomato said in a statement. The company, however, did not share any financial details of the acquisition.
Commenting on the development, Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said, “We are currently at the early stage of aerial innovations and are taking baby steps towards building a tomorrow wherein users can expect a drone to deliver the food they ordered online.
Founded in 2015 by IIT-Kanpur alumnus Vikram Singh along with his four friends, Tech Eagle specialize in developing DRONEs/UAVs of 1-5 meter( wingspan), 1-10kg (Payload), 1-5 Hours (Flight Time), and Modular for Companies, Research Institutes and individuals
He further said , “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. We believe that robots powering the last mile delivery is an inevitable part of the future and hence is going to be a significant area of investment for us.”
Food delivery business currently contributes about 65% to the overall revenue of the company, Zomato said. The company has over 75,000 restaurant partners offering food delivery services across 100 cities in India.
Notably, Indian government has allowed commercial use of drones starting December 1 this year. Under the policy , announced in August, the users of drones will be required to do a one-time registration of their drones. They will also need to register the pilots of these drones as well as their owners. After the registration, users will have to request for permission to fly it on a mobile application. An automated process will either permit or deny the request instantly.