Zipline, arguably the world’s largest drone delivery service for medical supplies, has secured $61 million in a new deal with Rwanda in a bid to expand operations in the country. The firm, founded in Rwanda, says the investment will, among others, be allocated into advancing its integrated service, including the company’s autonomy platform, aircraft, fulfilment systems and operations. For the past six years, Zipline has been delivering medicine and blood supplies particularly in rural areas. Keller Rinaudo, the Founder and Chief Executive of Zipline said that, the company has reduced national blood wastage by 67 percent and in-hospital maternal mortality by 88 percent. “We’ve now expanded into e-commerce, food, animal healthcare, and general logistics. We’re also adding more health facilities to our network and delivering a wider range of healthcare products. For example, all vaccines,” he said. According to Rinuado, Zipline expects to fly about 124 million miles through the partnership, up from the current 35 million miles. That, he said, was part of the goals to reach 11 million people by 2029, and 2 million instant deliveries by the same time. “Zipline wouldnt be the company we are today if it weren’t for the visionary leadership of President Paul Kagame and the government of Rwanda,” He added, “Plus the patient partnership of Ministry of Health over the last 5 years. Truly poud of what we have achieved together and we are just getting started,” Rinuardo said. The deal reflects the growing maturity of the drone delivery business. In a world where many need products as quickly as possible, drones can bypass traffic and reach some inaccessible places. In Rwanda, the firm has two sites including Muhanga and Kayonza. For every delivery, Zipline drones drop quarters of the blood supply shipped from Kigali. Winged, electric aircraft are catapulted, fly up to 50 miles, drop packages by parachute to more than 400 hospitals and clinics, then return to base to be hooked midway by a catching cable. The company has also been expanding geographies, with the Japanese market being the recent one. Among other developments made by the firm include expanding service hours in Rwanda to offer 24/7 autonomus delivery service, as well as partnering with Pfizer to design and test Covid-19 vaccines delivery. Zipline commenced operations in 2016, following a partnership with the Rwandan Government to commence what was then the first national-scale commercial drone delivery. This is in line with the country’s ambitions of serving of delivering innovation and technology products and services.