Zomato has recently acquired TechEagle, a Lucknow-based startup that focuses on using drones for a variety of purposes along with educating and training people on operating one. With the help of TechEagle, Zomato aims to kickstart a new era of drone-based food delivery in India.
Zomato spoke about the merger and mentioned that they will make use of hybrid multi-rotor drones to create a hub to hub delivery network. They also added that this is their first step in making online drone deliveries a common trend. They aim to test out how the deliveries will pan out and then see if it is viable for a full extension.
Currently, Zomato has over 75,000 partners in over 100 cities within India itself and their goal is to start out drone delivery systems in a few major cities before moving on the others. They have also stated that the process will be slow and eventually, will remove all need for a dedicated delivery man.
TechEagle is a Lucknow based startup that is the brainchild of an IIT Kanpur alumni, Vikram Singh Meena and a couple of his friends. Their drones can carry loads of up to 5kgs and can travel up to 10kms at a stretch. Initially, they started out by delivering tea and snacks to customers homes and will now build drones specific to Zomato's requirements.
On the merger, Zomato said nothing about the financial enormity of the acquisition.
This September, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had legalized the use of drones for commercial purposes under it's Drone Regulation 1.0 guidelines. To get in, all drone owners simply have to register themselves only once and they are then free to operate them without hassles.