Instadrone to test medical transport with drones in Montpellier and open branch in Congo

Instadrone, a French startup founded in 2014 in Béziers (Hérault) that specializes in drone delivery and data collection, is starting a busy year. It will verify the transport of blood samples to Montpellier in partnership with a second French laboratory group, Inovie, and will open a branch office in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), within two months.

Blood tests for delivery to Montpellier

While drone delivery to individuals still seems a long way off, the medical transport of samples (human tissue, urine, blood) to the lab may be more realistic in the short term. These delicate parcels must be delivered quickly, and air transport frees you from traffic restrictions (traffic jams, hard-to-reach places, etc.).

This year, Instadrone is positioning itself in this segment. A few weeks ago, he signed an agreement with the Inovie laboratory group for an experiment to deliver blood vials by drone in Montpellier. The first tests are due early in the second half of the year, and the startup hopes to be able to establish the first daily commercial rotations between the technical analysis platform and the sampling labs in late 2023, early 2023. 2024.

“The idea is to test the solution, show the authorities that the system always works, and convince the public that this is a new use,” Cédric Botella, CEO of Instadrone, explains to L’Usine Digitale. Initially, flights will be performed by operators (one to the takeoff area and one to the landing area). “A profitable economic model will only be obtained when these communications are fully automated (managed by a remote operator in the office), this is the final stage of our project,” continues the CEO.

He explains that the risk of bird strikes will be minimal and that no manned aircraft can be hit as the Instadrone vehicles fly below the floor of their flight and that they will be geolocated to avoid collisions.

Opening of a branch in Kinshasa

In addition, the group will open its first subsidiary in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Offices will be open for two months at Silikin Village, a hub for startups. The idea is to first continue working with Inovie, which is in the process of building a technical analysis platform there. “Traffic congestion in Kinshasa makes a drone more than an obvious solution for delivering blood samples,” explains the CEO.

The startup then wants to develop other activities there. In particular, the DRC will need to update its agricultural mapping, its urban plans and its telecommunications plans. The CEO states that the charter has already been created, that he already has two partners in the territory and that five people will be recruited there. The young company is even planning to open a training center on site to train young people in drone piloting and data processing.

About ten sets in 2023

Instadrone ended 2022 with a turnover of 6 million euros, up 45% from the previous year. At present, its telecommunications service activities (panoramic surveillance, FH surveillance, Pathloss report, plan updates) are most profitable, hence the privileged relationship with Free Mobile and the acquisition of Xavier Niel’s stake in the company. companies up to 30%. The startup employs about 25 people and will announce about ten employees in 2023, in part to support its export development policy.

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