The Little Drone Startup Beating Amazon and Google in the Home Delivery Race

Deliveries of pizza, medicine, and other day-to-day products from the sky may be closer than you think.

The Drone Startup Beating Amazon at Deliveries

More than two years ago, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos spoke on 60 Minutes about delivering goods to homes with unmanned aircraft, or drones. But a little startup near Reno, Nev., beat Amazon to the punch. 

A Flirtey drone during a test run in the desert outside Reno, Nevada.

A Flirtey drone during a test run in the desert outside Reno.

David Nicholson

The company, called Flirtey, in July made its first household delivery via drone, from a 7-Eleven. Flirtey likes to say its partnership with the convenience-store chain will save parents with sick children a late-night run to the store for medicine. But the drone deliveries are conveniently made with insulated boxes, so a chili dog and Slurpee dropping from the sky to your home is within reach.

A package is loaded into a Flirtey drone before a test delivery.
A package is loaded into a Flirtey drone before a test delivery.
David Nicholson

Flirtey Co-founder and CEO Matt Sweeny says his company was able to jump ahead of Amazon by working with government regulators to get early approval to run tests. And those test runs have paid off: Sweeny boldly predicts delivery by drone will be a regular sight within a year.

In this video, Bloomberg visited Flirtey’s undisclosed testing site for a closer look at what the company is doing and how it aims to change the nature of product delivery while keeping its lead in the race with Amazon.

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