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Zomato Acquires Drone-Delivery Startup TechEagle Innovations

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Zomato acquired TechEagle Innovations for an undisclosed amount as the restaurant search and ordering service explores food delivery by drones.

The acquisition will help Zomato to create a hub-to-hub delivery network powered by hybrid multi-rotor drones, it said in a statement. “We believe that robots powering the last-mile delivery is an inevitable part of the future and hence is going to be a significant area of investment for us,” Deepinder Goyal, founder and chief executive officer of Zomato, said.

Zomato’s investment comes two months after India allowed the commercial use of drones. That makes the startup, which delivers 22 million orders a month with a fleet of 1.5 lakh partners, the first Indian food delivery venture to focus on drones. Globally, Uber Technologies is planning to use drones to deliver food in San Diego.

Goyal said Zomato’s first “delivery job” is to design multi-rotor drones that can pick up a payload under 5 kg and set up drone delivery circuits for reducing the last-mile delivery leg. Lucknow-based TechEagle, founded in 2015 by an IIT-Kanpur student Vikram Singh Meena, focuses on developing unmanned aerial vehicles to carry a load of up to 5 kg.

Zomato has been aggressively expanding its food delivery business in the country to take on the likes of Swiggy, Foodpanda and Uber Eats. Earlier this week, it said it’s entering 30 more cities and will have a presence in 100. In October, Zomato had said it will raise $210 million from Alipay.

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