LifeBank, a medical sample and blood delivery startup has launched drone deliveries in a bid to help its partner institutions increase efficiency and save more lives.
“We are delighted to announce that our first drone flight took off in Ethiopia with support from the Ethiopian Government’s Information Network Security Agency (INSA) and The Drones Doing Good Alliance (DDG),” the firm announced via its Twitter handle.
“Over the last few years, we’ve mastered the delivery of essential medical products with simple mobility tools such as motorcycles and boats. During this time, with very limited resources, we’ve built an incredible business that has had tremendous impact,” the firm added.
According to the firm, drones present an exciting opportunity to reach people in marginalized areas.
“Now, we’ve added drones to our suite of mobility solutions! Drones present an exciting opportunity to reach the most vulnerable people living in the most remote areas of the world with lifesaving medical supplies.
“We are proud to be the first African led company to execute BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) flights for healthcare logistics. LifeBank is getting a step closer to reaching everyone, anywhere, anyhow, using the best mobility tool for each circumstance.,” the firm wrote.
LifeBank announced the move on the same night it was declared winner of the Jack Ma Foundation Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) prize taking home $250,000.
The $1 million ANPI is a flagship initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, created by Jack Ma after his first trip to Africa in 2017. The aim of the prize is to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future. In its inaugural year, nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs from 50 countries across the continent applied. The Jack Ma Foundation has committed to running the competition for 10 years.
The finale event, called “Africa’s Business Heroes,” was held in Accra, Ghana, where the top 10 finalists pitched their businesses directly to four prestigious judges including Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba.
“Win local first, but have a global vision. Stay focused, do not run too first and don’t worry about the competitors,” Ma told LifeBank founder and CEO Temie Giwa-Tubosun, advising her not to scale across Africa too first but to focus on fulfilling the Nigerian market before expanding across Africa.