Alphabet is releasing two experimental projects from its X lab, adding new independent businesses to its roster of non-advertising entities.
Wing, which is developing a drone delivery system, and Loon, which uses balloons to bring internet signals to remote parts of the world, will graduate from the company's "moonshot" lab and become full-fledged businesses under its Other Bets unit, X said in a blog post. Other Bets already includes businesses like self-driving car unit Waymo, cybersecurity company Chronicle and life sciences company Verily.
Loon will work with mobile network operators globally to bring internet access to unconnected and under-connected people around the world. Wing is building a drone delivery system to improve the speed, cost, and environmental impact of transporting goods, and an unmanned-traffic management platform to safely route drones through our skies.
Alphabet says that these new companies will have their own leaders. Alastair Westgarth is the new CEO of Loon, while James Ryan Burgess is the new CEO of Wing in partnership with Adam Woodworth as Wing's CTO.
Alphabet wouldn't say whether Loon and Wing are generating revenue or profit, but a move out of the innovation lab suggests the two projects have become established enough to at least have a clear business plan and path to profit. Alphabet pours billions each year into Other Bets, which had an operating loss of $3.6 billion in 2017.