Norwegian drone logistics company Aviant has launched its home delivery service, Kyte, which is capable of delivering groceries, takeaway food and non-prescription medicines to sparsely populated areas and holiday homes in Norway.
Additionally, the company has landed an additional €1m (US$1.07m) of public funding from Innovation Norway to autonomously deliver vital prescription medicines directly from pharmacies to people in remote and suburban areas, where mobility can be challenging due to long distances and factors such as bad roads and severe weather.
Aviant’s drones can fly as far as 120km in a straight line. The increased efficiency and speed means Kyte’s delivery range is within a 30km radius for return flights. Aviant is certified under EU regulations to operate autonomous flights within the union.
Customers can request delivery through the Kyte app, where they can choose from various groceries, ready meals and medicines. Once the order is placed, the drones are loaded with the items at Kyte’s home base before they autonomously deliver the package and then return to base. So far, Kyte has made deliveries covering a distance of more than 4,000km, with an average delivery time of 24 minutes.
Lars Erik Fagernæs, founder and CEO at Aviant, said, “Our technology proved critical for rural healthcare services during the pandemic when winter road closures meant our drones were the only link between Covid-19 test sites and laboratories in central Norway. Now, with the launch of Kyte and our funding from Innovation Norway, Luminar Ventures and Bring Ventures, we are able to provide people in remote and hard-to-reach areas with the groceries and medical supplies they need, directly to their doorstep, with no traffic restrictions and minimal climate emissions.”
Fagernæs continued, “Door-to-door drone delivery has been a hot topic for years already, but most commercial attempts have been limited to small, open areas such as a single park or technology that limits the radius to 2-3km. Where plenty of companies have received initial funding, getting a commercial last-mile delivery service up and running has proved extremely difficult. That changes with Kyte. We have a large delivery radius, the permits to operate, and no requirements for pilots or spotters along the route. We are actually delivering food, groceries and medicine by drone to people’s doorsteps in Norway right now.”
Aviant raised a seed round of €2.3m (US$2.4m) in September 2022, in a round led by Bring Ventures, the venture arm of the Norwegian postal service. The company is planning to open a second base in Norway during 2023, which will enable it to serve 20,000 to 30,000 remote holiday homes with door-to-door deliveries. In the longer term, Aviant is planning to bring drone home delivery to most of the Norwegian population, as well as EU markets.
“Aviant has the perfect combination of proven, reliable technology, great people and a market ready for the taking,” said Anett Berger Sørli, investment director at Bring Ventures. “We invested in Lars Erik and the team because we see drone delivery as central to the future of logistics, and being able to launch Kyte within such a short timeframe shows how driven this team is to lead us to that future.”
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