Deliveroo invests £25k in drone tech startup

Deliveroo is set to invest £25,000 in a startup launched by one of its riders that provides drone photography and film for commercial businesses.

Bristol-based Callum Jenkins, who has worked as a Deliveroo rider for two years, received £25,000 investment from the company as part of its ‘Big Pitch’ programme.

The Big Pitch is a Dragon’s Den style initiative where riders pitch their business idea to a panel of leading investors, including the CEO and founder of Deliveroo, Will Shu. The panel selected three riders to receive investment, including Jenkins.

Jenkins said: “It was so inspiring to pitch in front of Will Shu and leading investors.”

Jenkins graduated from university in 2017, and has split his time between working for Deliveroo and experimenting with using drones for filming. He went on to launch his own business, ESNO Media, which provides drone filming, photography for commercial businesses, a year later.

In 2019, Jenkins gained traction with ESNO by working with companies in the automotive, property and construction sectors. Some of his clients have included Porsche, and warehouse and logistics firm Core Management Logistics (CML).

The rider’s business pitch focused on future applications of drone technology that his company will start providing, including mapping, surveying and modelling.

Jenkins said the investment will be “hugely beneficial, enabling me to expand ESNO faster and develop our new concept.”

“I love being an entrepreneur and the Big Pitch is helping me in my long-term dream of building a global business that has a positive impact in the world.”

The investment comes after Deliveroo has seen a substantial rise in restaurants signing up to its delivery platform, as many on-trade outlets turn to delivery while they are barred from opening to the public.

As UK restaurants have been forced to close by the government, and with more families at home due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Deliveroo claims it has seen almost 3,000 new UK restaurants join the platform in the past month.

Deliveroo said that, in an effort to ease the strain many businesses face when they aren’t able to operate as normal, it has “significantly” cut its “onboarding fees” for new restaurants to list on its website. A spokesperson declined to tell the drinks business how far the rates had been reduced, but said `”it’s a significant drop for new restaurant partners, reflected by a sign-up numbers.”

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