March 8, 2019 / 12:38 PM / in 3 months

Brazilian startup testing drones to deliver food

SAO PAULO, March 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian delivery app iFood is testing food delivery with drones as well as electric bikes and scooters, in an effort to expand its reach in the country and reduce costs.

iFood’s Chief Executive Carlos Moyses said the startup has delivered food via drone to people in a carnival parade in Sao Paulo and will test drones to deliver food in commercial and residential buildings.

Some of the services still require authorization by air traffic and telecommunications regulators. Founded seven years ago, iFood has around 120,000 people delivering orders in almost 500 Brazilian cities, mostly via motorcycle or conventional bicycle.

The app, which also operates in Mexico and Colombia, delivered 14.1 million orders in January, more than double the number of deliveries a year earlier.

iFood is controlled by Brazilian holding company Movile, in which South African group Naspers Ltd is the largest investor. Initially focused on delivery, the company has launched a website for food purchases by restaurants.

The expansion is being funded by a new funding round by Movile last year. Among investors in the 500 million-real cash injection were Naspers and Innova Capital, owned by billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann who is also a partner in 3G Capital, a key stakeholder in consumer products giants including Kraft Heinz Co and Anheuser Busch Inbev. (Reporting by Aluisio Alves Writing by Tatiana Bautzer Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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