Flytrex, a startup specializing in on-demand delivery of food and retail items, announced this morning it had received approval from the FAA to expand its delivery radius to one nautical mile across all its operating stations in North Carolina.
According to a release sent to The Spoon, the company, which received approval in May of this year to operate over people, has completed “thousands” of deliveries to customers. With over 10 thousand potential customers within the company’s new expanded delivery radius, expect that pace to pick up further.
Customers interested in a drone-delivered meal can order via the Flytrex app with participating stores and restaurants. The app sends updates to the customer while the package is en route and, once the drone arrives, the package is lowered by wire into the customer’s backyards. Flytrex drones, operated in partnership with drone delivery operator Causey Aviation Unmanned, have a payload of over 6 pounds.
The news comes on the heels of a $40 million Series C funding round announced last month. The funding, which the company is using to develop its hardware further and expand its business development practices, should solidify the company as an early leader in the drone delivery market. The company, which launched its first drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2017, has established partnerships with the likes of Walmart and Chili’s. Flytrex is one of eight companies participating in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) BEYOND Initiative, a program focused on finding solutions for challenges of unmanned air service integration.
Flytrex does have some competition, including the high-profile efforts of Amazon through its Prime Air group. However, nearly nine years after Jeff Bezos first wowed the world when he teased the idea of Amazon drone delivery, the mega e-tailer’s efforts have shown outward signs of potential struggle as of late. On the other hand, Manna, another backyard drone delivery specialist, continues to plug away in Europe, reaching a delivery milestone of 50 to 100 deliveries per day in the spring of 2021.
“Drone delivery is reaching new heights faster than anyone could have expected,” Yariv Bash, co-founder, and CEO of Flytrex, said. “This approval from the FAA will allow us to cater to the growing demand for fast and efficient on-demand delivery in suburban America. We look forward to continuing on this exciting flight path, bringing five-minute delivery to the millions of backyards across the USA.”