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Zipline Drone Startup Announces 1 Million Delivery Hit

The autonomous drone delivery startup Zipline announced yesterday that it had made one million deliveries to consumers and it’s further seeking partnerships with restaurants.

TakeAway Points:

  • Zipline, an autonomous drone delivery startup, has completed one million client deliveries.
  • The company reported that over 70 million commercial autonomous miles have been flown by its zero-emission drones across four continents.
  • Jet’s Pizza in Detroit, Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, and Panera Bread in Seattle will join the company as its drone delivery business grows.

Zipline Records 1 Million Deliveries

The San Francisco-based startup which creates, constructs, and manages autonomous delivery drones, reported that its zero-emission drones have now flown more than 70 million autonomous commercial miles across four continents and delivered.

Its clientele includes major brands like Walmart and GNC, as well as over 4,700 hospitals, including the Cleveland Clinic. It’s raised more than $500 million thus far from investors like Sequoia Capital, a16z, and Google Ventures.

The Startup’s Future Expansion

As the company continues to grow, it will bring on Panera Bread in Seattle, Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, and Jet’s Pizza in Detroit.

According to Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, Zipline CEO, 70% of the company’s deliveries have occurred in the past two years, and the company’s goal is to perform one million deliveries per day in the future.

“The three areas where the incentive really makes the most sense today are health care, quick commerce, and food, and those are the three main markets that we focus on,” Cliffton said. “Our goal is to work with really the best brands or the best institutions in each of those markets.”

He claimed that the trend towards restaurant collaborations is a “natural transition” because of the rising demand for same-day meal delivery. Customers currently receive food deliveries from Walmart via Zipline.

“We need to start using vehicles that are light, fast, autonomous and zero-emission,”  Cliffton said. “Delivering in this way is 10 times as fast, it’s less expensive, and relative to the traditional delivery apps that most restaurants will be working with, we triple the service radius, which means you actually get 10 times the number of customers who are reachable via instant delivery.”

Anticipated Delivery Commencement

Ron Bellamy, Panera franchisee’s Chief Operating Officer, added that Zipline deliveries for a few Panera locations in Seattle are anticipated to start early next year. Bellamy stated that delivery is still important to the company, even in an inflationary environment, and that Zipline’s costs will likely be comparable to those of third-party delivery in the short term.

“I’m encouraged about it, not just in terms of what I can do for the business, but as a consumer, I think at the end of the day, if it is economical and it delivers a better overall experience, then the consumer will speak,” Bellamy said.


Zipline International Inc. develops, manufactures, and uses delivery drones. Its drones have flown over 40 million autonomous miles and completed over 800,000 commercial deliveries as of November 2023

The company uses drones to transport medical supplies like vaccines, infusions, and other medical commodities, as well as whole blood, platelets, frozen plasma, and cryoprecipitate. The business also provides non-medical goods delivery services. 

It has alliances with Walmart, which began operating in 2021, and Sweetgreen, which made an announcement in 2023. Uses for restaurants, grocery, convenience shopping, and e-commerce are available on its website.

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