Indian drone delivery and logistics startup Skye Air Mobility is set to begin its first commercial drone delivery project at scale in April, in partnership with Indian diagnostics service provider, Redcliffe Labs. Ankit Kumar, chief executive of Skye Air, said that while a commercial pilot project is already underway between the two companies, the upcoming project will mark the first commercial drone delivery project beyond the testing phase.
Kumar also claimed that the partnership with Redcliffe Labs is the first at this scale in India. “We will begin with select districts, and the first phase of the project will include 1,000 deliveries per month,” he added.
To be sure, this is not the first ever commercial drone delivery project in India, since pilot projects have been executed by many other drone delivery operators, such as drone startup TechEagle. However, Skye Air claims that this is the first commercial drone delivery project in India at scale, offering bulk delivery services for businesses.
The company has been operating commercial drone delivery pilot projects since September 2021, and has since claimed to have completed 1,000 drone deliveries in India in partnership with the likes of Flipkart, Blue Dart, Dunzo and Redcliffe Labs. Kumar said that Skye Air is now looking to raise its first round of pre-seed funding by the end of March 2022, in a bid to scale up commercial projects.
Drone delivery projects received a green light in India after the Indian government relaxed the drone regulations in the country in February. The new rules have established wider zones that permit commercial drone operations, and a new digital platform called Digital Sky is also being worked on for easier coordination across the industry.
Kumar said that Skye Air is also working on a larger number of commercial projects at a larger scale, which in turn can help the company offer drone deliveries at an even larger cost. “We hope to execute 100,000 drone deliveries in the next one year. Projects at such scale can help our partners reduce the overall delivery cost to one-third of present costs – and even in that, we would have a 40% margin for the same,” Kumar said.