Daimler AG and VCs lead Starship Technologies funding for the world’s first robotic delivery service
Starship Technologies, the company building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally, today announced $17.2 million (€16.5 mil.) in seed funding. The round was led by Daimler AG, along with Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital and a number of other investors.
“Starship is reinventing the last mile transportation process, allowing convenient and sustainable robotic delivery,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies. “This funding further accelerates development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programs in several new markets”.
Starship Technologies entered a partnership with Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz in 2016 to begin developing and testing ‘Robovan,’ the world’s first transportation system integrating specifically adapted vans with autonomous delivery robots to create greater delivery efficiencies. “Starship Technologies and Mercedes-Benz Vans share a strong vision: We both strive to fundamentally change the way we think about the delivery on the last mile. Together, we will make that vision come true and show the potential of robotic delivery devices in a combined holistic transportation system. Starship’s unique technology fits perfectly with our vans”, said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
“The way we move physical objects has changed dramatically thanks to Amazon and other delivery companies. Starship is enabling the trend and opening use-cases for the future that we can’t even imagine yet” said HardiMeybaum, General Partner at Matrix Partners. “Our investment in Starship is special because one of Matrix’s earliest investments was FedEx; Starship is bringing us full circle with the future of delivery using autonomous robots”. “Starship Technologies has proven the viability of ground-based robotic delivery, showing us that it’s not just a far-fetched idea – it’s our reality today,” said Rob Coneybeer, co-founder and managing director, Shasta Ventures.
Starship Technologies is running commercial delivery pilot programs in the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with partners like Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post, Wolt and others offering robotic delivery for the food, grocery and parcel industries.
Robots developed by Starship Technologies have now covered over 16,000 miles around the world in 16 countries and 59 cities, encountering over 3.1 million people, and recently started testing in Washington D.C., Redwood City, California and Fayetteville, Arkansas.