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 submit 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 resembling finance, accounting, investor relations and international gross sales. The position won’t embody 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 relies in Ghana and has been with Zipline since 2019, will proceed to supervise present operations within the area to take care of continuity there, based on the corporate. Marfo was promoted to senior vice chairman 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 way 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 instructed TechCrunch.
Ahuja involves Zipline with a long time within the monetary world, most lately 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 finally grew to become worthwhile.
His appointment alerts Zipline’s rising aspirations fueled by partnerships and $250 million in enterprise capital it raised final yr. (The corporate has raised $486 million up to now.)
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 resembling blood and vaccines in Rwanda through its autonomous electrical drones. Zipline later expanded to Ghana and Nigeria, Japan and america. It additionally lately acquired FAA Half 135 approval for its long-range drone supply service in america.
The corporate has additionally snagged a variety of partnerships up to now two years that alerts 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 submit that accompanied the announcement, Ahuja appears notably eager on Zipline’s vertical integration that enables it to ship huge scale at excessive ranges of automation and integration, and at low operational value.
“The workforce has additionally labored exhausting to make sure its resolution has an incredible and seamless consumer expertise, and creates minimal environmental noise,” he stated within the weblog submit. “Zipline is subsequently in a novel place to be a significant power in fixing this drawback at scale. Actually, many executives within the healthcare and e-commerce house are starting to understand a systems-based resolution just like the one provided by Zipline.”