Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Last-mile Robotics Company Starship Secures £14M in Seed Round

Starship Technologies, the London-based startup that is creating a fleet of  autonomous  six-wheeler robots for home deliveries, has closed a £14 million Seed round.

The funding round was led by German carmaker Daimler AG, and backed by Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital and HOF Capital , among many others.

Created in 2014 by Skype cofounders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla, Starship is betting on snapping up the so-called “last mile” segment of goods delivery: its driverless carts can shuttle up to three bags of groceries within a radius of three miles from the shop, taking about thirty minutes to cover that distance.

Unlike more visionary efforts, such as for instance Amazon’s plans for aerial drone delivery, Starship’s terrestrial buggies are having an easier time in getting the green-light from regulators. Pilot projects have already been launched across Europe and in several US locations including Menlo Park, Washington DC, and Redwood City, California.

The company, which is headquartered  in London but whose engineering unit is based in Estonia, had already partnered with Daimler in the past: in 2016 it started working with the German multinational’s subsidiary  Mercedes-Benz to develop “Robovans” combining vehicles and robots for local delivery purposes.

Commenting the round, which was closed in late December, Starship CEO Ahti Heinla said:“Starship is reinventing the last mile transportation process, allowing convenient and sustainable robotic delivery.”

“This funding further accelerates development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programs in several new markets,” he added.

Matrix’s general partner Hardi Meybaum also issued a statement on the round. “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,” he said.

Image via Starship Technologies


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