Drone deliveries for Norway
After introducing themselves to the world via their game changing effectiveness in medical delivery, it was just a matter of time before delivery drones branched out into general parcel delivery.
And next in line for drone-oriented parcel delivery tests in Norway, where drone start-up Aviant has just launched a drone home delivery service called Kyte; where drones are expected to cover a 30km radius of the town of Trondheim, delivering items as groceries, ready meals and light medicines.
And – just like they do with pioneer parcel delivery drone services like Wing and Zipline – orders are made through the Kyte app.
“Our technology proved critical for rural healthcare services during the pandemic, where winter road closures meant our drones were the only link between Covid-19 test sites and laboratories in Central Norway,” says Lars Erik Fagernæs, co-founder and CEO at Aviant.
“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.”
Aviant was founded by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students Lars Erik Fagernæs, Herman Øie Kolden and Bernhard Paus Græsdal, and started out transporting blood, water, milk and COVID-samples; and equipment for windmill farms – in conditions as low as -26°C.
Recently, the start-up landed an additional €1million worth 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 like bad roads or severe weather.
The latest investment adds to the €2.3million Aviant raised in a seed funding round in September last year. The round was led by Bring Ventures, the venture arm of the Norwegian postal service, which is planning to open a second base in Norway sometime this year to enable it to serve 20,000-30,000 remote holiday homes with door-to-door deliveries.
Long term, Aviant is looking to bring drone home delivery to most of the Norwegian population, as well as EU markets.
“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 2-3 kms,” Fagernæs said.
“Where plenty of companies have received initial funding, getting a commercial last-mile delivery service up and running has proven 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.”