Zipline has employed departing Verily CFO and Tesla veteran Deepak Ahuja as its first chief enterprise and monetary officer, an appointment that comes because the drone supply and logistics startup accelerates its international enlargement in Africa, america and different areas.
Ahuja, who’s leaving his publish at Alphabet’s unit Verily Life Sciences, will begin within the new position September 30. (Verily, which stated Friday it raised $1 billion, additionally introduced Ahuja was leaving the corporate.) Ahuja will oversee Zipline’s international monetary operations comparable to finance, accounting, investor relations and international gross sales. The position is not going to embrace Africa, a area the place Zipline bought its begin and continues to function in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda.
Daniel Marfo, who is predicated in Ghana and has been with Zipline since 2019, will proceed to supervise current operations within the area to take care of continuity there, based on the corporate. Marfo was promoted to senior vp of Zipline’s Africa operations in 2020.
Zipline additionally operates in Japan and in america, together with Arkansas and North Carolina. The corporate is increasing to Utah later this yr by means of a partnership with Intermountain Well being and introduced plans to start operations with Multicare Well being System in Washington beginning in 2024.
Ahuja will give attention to constructing Zipline’s enterprise in america and different areas globally, the corporate advised TechCrunch.
Ahuja involves Zipline with many years within the monetary world, most not too long ago as CFO at Verily Life Sciences. Maybe his most seen position was as Tesla’s first CFO, a place he held from 2008 to 2015 after which once more from 2017 to 2019. Throughout his tenure at Tesla, Ahuja was on the helm when it grew to become a publicly traded firm and after years of losses ultimately grew to become worthwhile.
His appointment indicators Zipline’s rising aspirations fueled by partnerships and $250 million in enterprise capital it raised final yr. (The corporate has raised $486 million to this point.)
The corporate, based in 2014, has developed all the ecosystem from the drones and logistics software program to launch and touchdown system. It bought its begin delivering medical provides comparable to blood and vaccines in Rwanda through its autonomous electrical drones. Zipline later expanded to Ghana and Nigeria, Japan and america. It additionally not too long ago acquired FAA Half 135 approval for its long-range drone supply service in america.
The corporate has additionally snagged a variety of partnerships previously two years that indicators aspirations to increase inside and past healthcare. Zipline has partnerships with Toyota Group and UPS, it delivers medical tools and private protecting gear for Novant Well being in North Carolina and well being and wellness merchandise for Walmart.
In a weblog publish that accompanied the announcement, Ahuja appears significantly eager on Zipline’s vertical integration that enables it to ship huge scale at excessive ranges of automation and integration, and at low operational price.
“The crew has additionally labored laborious to make sure its answer has a tremendous and seamless person expertise, and creates minimal environmental noise,” he stated within the weblog publish. “Zipline is due to this fact in a singular place to be a significant pressure in fixing this downside at scale. In truth, many executives within the healthcare and e-commerce area are starting to understand a systems-based answer just like the one supplied by Zipline.”