Drone delivery of frozen food in supply chain begins in Gurgaon
Indian drone services manufacturing and services startup, Skye Air Mobility, has partnered with Gurugram, Haryana-based cloud kitchen startup Curefoods to begin drone deliveries of frozen food supplies from the latter’s warehouse to its kitchen. The trial phase for the drone deliveries began today, will continue till July 31.
The companies said in a joint release that the beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) trial traversed a distance of 20 kilometres from the Curefoods warehouse in Jhund Sarai, Haryana to its kitchen in Gurugram. The delivery was conducted using a custom designed delivery box attached to the drone, which maintained a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius — in under 30 minutes.
To be sure, this is not the first commercial drone delivery project that Skye Air has undertaken. In April this year, Ankit Kumar, chief executive of Skye Air, told Mint that the company had signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company Redcliffe Labs to deliver diagnostic services between their testing sites and collection centres. Kumar said that the first phase of trials targeted close to 1,000 deliveries every month.
The latest partnership between Skye Air and Curefoods will conduct six deliveries every day during the one-week trial period.
Earlier this month, investors and industry stakeholders told Mint that the Indian drone sector was seeing an increasing level of interest, fuelled by the liberalised drone policy and regulations in the country — and a larger volume of drone delivery trials. While drone startups raised $87 million across around 10 deals between July 2021 and June 2022, the value of investments for the same period was valued at around $24 million.
Companies such as Garuda Aerospace and TechEagle have also been undertaking commercial pilot and trial missions with commercial partners. In April this year, food and grocery deliveries platform Swiggy announced a partnership with a number of drone startups for its quick commerce service, Instamart. The company’s partnership included vendors such as Skye Air itself, Garuda Aerospace, TechEagle and Marut Dronetech.