Meet Arone Delivery, the Nigerian Drone Startup that could Compete with America’s Zipline
The Nigerian startup ecosystem is majorly dominated by software-enabled businesses. But Arone Delivery is one hardware startup building something futuristic with drones!
Founded in March 2018, Arone Delivery is a logistics company that uses autonomous drones to make quick deliveries. The startup develops smart aerial logistics technology (drones) powered by solar energy. Arone drones can deliver 5kg payload as far as 200km autonomously.
The startup is being incubated at Roar Nigeria, a tech hub in the University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Founded by AI engineer, Emmanuel Ezenwere, Arone Delivery believes its drone technology can address a host of logistics issues. From grocery deliveries to transporting bigger items, drone technology has huge importance for the logistics industry. However, Arone is most keen on solving the problem of efficient delivery of medical supplies. And it’s no surprise why.
The #TotalStartupperNGR18 jury awarded the Young Entrepreneur prize to Emmanuel Ezenwere, for Arone which is bridging the gap between rural and urban health care services by transporting medical supplies using autonomous delivery drones. @aronedelivery pic.twitter.com/xDkSSNqYTu— TOTAL NIGERIA (@TOTALNigeria) February 18, 2019
Health care delivery system is grossly inadequate and inefficient in many parts of Africa. This is largely because more people reside in rural areas than urban areas. Meanwhile rural areas most times lack access to basic amenities and even road infrastructure.
As such, providing quality medical services has always been a problem on the continent.
During times of medical emergencies or cases such as child birth or urgent delivery of medical products, it takes too long for supplies to reach rural locations. And it equally costs too much to make frequent deliveries too. As a result, preventable deaths are high in rural areas and many parts of Africa.
Most of the blood banks and equipped laboratories are located in Urban communities. This presents a huge challenge for primary health care centers located in rural areas.— Arone (@AroneDelivery) February 4, 2019
Find out how we are solving this problem by building Avports.
Read more: https://t.co/dNeqN2f6DW#logistics pic.twitter.com/7H7uze3MPH
But Arone Delivery believes its drone technology can fix this problem. The startup started delivering medical supplies last year. It has set up drone delivery stations and blood banks for more efficient distribution of medical supplies.
The startup is already working with a few clinics and blood banks in Enugu State to deliver supplies. In January, it announced plans to develop drone stations in each state in Nigeria, as well invite more health facilities to use its services.
So far though, there is no much information about growth levels and how much revenue has been made.
We are very excited to announce that Arone has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Startupper of the Year by Total!— Arone (@AroneDelivery) January 25, 2019
We really want to thank our amazing community for the tremendous support we received! You guys Rock! ⚡️#TotalStartUpper #AroneAerialLogistics #healthcare4all pic.twitter.com/Ya4dJN0VxC
Nevertheless, the startup has been gaining some traction over the last few months. Since it scored a N6 million venture from two angel investors in March 2018, it has gone on to participate in different events.
Last year, it won the Nigeria regional competition of the Slush Global Impact Accelerator. It also took part in the 38th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.
Looking at how much traction Zipline, a US drone builder, has gained, it won’t be wrong to speculate about the potentials of Arone Delivery.
But first, it has to stabilize its technology and make a huge splash.
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