Walmart invests in drone delivery company

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart Inc. announced Thursday it is investing in drone delivery company DroneUp, with operations slated to begin at its flagship Bentonville, Arkansas, store in the coming months.

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“In our ongoing effort to get customers the items they want, and fast, we know it will take a well-coordinated network of delivery solutions that span the streets, sidewalks and skies,” Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner wrote on the retail behemoth’s corporate blog.

In 2020, Walmart partnered with the Virginia Beach, Virginia-based drone flight services provider to test drone deliveries of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits.

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Furner wrote in the blog post that “conducting drone deliveries at scale is within reach,” and the DroneUp partnership is ready to expand after “safely completing hundreds of drone deliveries from Walmart stores.”

“DroneUp’s expertise combined with our retail footprint and proven history of logistics innovation puts us right where we want to be for that day. Because when it comes to the future of drone delivery, we know the sky’s the limit,” Furner wrote.

Meanwhile, DroneUp is the first company to use the FAA 107.39 waiver, an operation that allows for delivery flights to be conducted over people and moving vehicles, KNWA reported.

The financial terms of Walmart’s investment in DroneUp were not immediately available.