Starship Technologies, the company working to produce a fleet of autonomous robots for the delivery of local goods, has closed a $17.2m Seed funding round.
Led by Daimler AG, the round also drew support from 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 of Starship Technologies, adding: “This funding further accelerates development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programs in several new markets.”
The news comes after the firm partnered with Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz last year in order to begin developing and testing ‘Robovan’, a transportation system integrating adapted vans and autonomous delivery robots.
Hardi Meybaum, general partner at Matrix Partners, said: “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.”
Rob Coneybeer, co-founder and managing director at Shasta Ventures also commented on his firm’s decision to invest in the London-based company, noting that it had “proven the viability of ground-based robotic delivery” and showed that it was not just a far-fetched possibility, but a reality in today’s day and age.
Starship Technologies is running commercial delivery pilot programs in the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with partners including Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post and Wolt.