Success! You're on the list.

Success! You're on the list.

Skype’s co-founder-led Starship Technologies raises $90M to make delivery robots with 99% autonomy rate even better

Skype’s co-founder-led Estonian company raises $90 M to make delivery robots with 99% autonomy rate even better

Starship Technologies, the Estonian autonomous delivery robots startup has secured $90 million in a funding round co-led by Plural (an early-stage European investor set up by founders and operators, Wise’s Taavet Hinrikus and Songkick’s Ian Hogarth) and Iconical. This latest investment, bringing the company’s total raised to $230 million since its inception in 2014, fuels Starship’s ambition to capitalise on the booming demand for on-demand deliveries while offering a sustainable and ethical solution.

Ahti Heinla, the founder of the Talinn-based startup, who is also one of the founders of Skype, said, “Autonomous delivery isn’t some science fiction concept from Bladerunner for decades in the future, it’s a reality for hundreds of thousands of people every day. Building a company like Starship takes at least a decade of perfecting the technology, streamlining operations and reducing costs to make last-mile autonomous delivery viable and sustainable at scale. Now we’re ready to take on the world and with ambitions to build a category-dominating company that can change the daily lives of millions of people in thousands of locations worldwide.”

Will Starship robots transform last-mile delivery? 

Last-mile delivery, notorious for its high costs and carbon footprint, poses a significant challenge for logistics companies. As online food delivery alone is expected to double by 2030, Starship emerges as a leader in tackling this challenge head-on. Their delivery robots have become a familiar sight across Europe and the US, completing over six million deliveries and revolutionising the final leg of the supply chain. 

Further, the autonomous robot company boasts a fleet exceeding 2,000 autonomous delivery robots currently operating in 80 locations across the globe including the US, UK, Germany, Denmark, Estonia and Finland. They claim that the robots use less energy than humans to deliver takeaways, grocery orders, tools and corporate documents to customers’ doors. They told TFN that they prioritise community integration and expansion, aiming to bring “sustainable robot deliveries a reality for millions more people in 2024.”

When asked about other prospect market, the company told TFN that while they focused on existing markets, potential for new territories remains intriguing to them. They further told us that safety remains paramount, with their 6 million+ deliveries and more than 11 million kilometres travelled fueling continual learning and safety advancements.

Taavet Hinrikus, Partner at Plural, said, “For the past 10 years, the team have been working tirelessly to build the most advanced autonomous logistics technology in the world, driving more miles and making more deliveries than any other company, whilst reducing the impact of last-mile and on-demand delivery on the planet. The culmination of this hard work over the past decade and this new funding means Starship is well-positioned for accelerated growth. We’re looking forward to supporting Ahti and the team on this journey to becoming one of Europe’s most successful global companies.”

Is Starship’s offering sustainable and ethical alternative

Starship robots address the ethical and environmental concerns associated with traditional delivery methods. Each robot delivers using significantly less energy than humans, with an average delivery consuming the same energy as boiling a single cup of tea. Moreover, by replacing car journeys, they have reduced nearly 1.8 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, Starship prioritises ethical practices, partnering with companies like Bolt, Co-Op, and Grubhub, while offering fair wages and safe working conditions to its employees.

Robots with 99% autonomy rate

Over the past decade, Starship has relentlessly refined its autonomous technology, making robot deliveries a commercial reality. Their robots boast a 99% autonomy rate, expertly navigating diverse terrains and obstacles. Notably, Starship achieved its first million deliveries in six years, and the subsequent five million in half that time, showcasing their rapid advancements.

Addressing pedestrian concerns, they told TFN that they emphasise ongoing development and hint at upcoming accessibility improvements. This combination of innovation, safety focus, and community integration solidifies Starship’s position as a leader in autonomous delivery solutions.

Robots with wireless charging facility

Starship recently unveiled a game-changing innovation – wireless charging for its robots. This world-first technology enables autonomous and wireless recharging in between deliveries, further enhancing efficiency and fulfilling the vision of a fully autonomous, scalable delivery system.

How will the funds be utilised?

For the past decade, Starship Technologies has cultivated a world-class team of engineers, data scientists, designers, and operators. These individuals, strategically located across the company’s founding office in Tallinn, Estonia, global headquarters in San Francisco, and various regional hubs in the US, UK, Denmark, Finland, and Germany, are collectively driving the future of sustainable, autonomous logistics.

Fueled by the recent $90 million investment round, Starship is poised to capitalise on advancements in AI and machine learning. This will enable them to refine their existing AI infrastructure, technological capabilities, and innovative wireless charging solution. Notably, this growth will propel Starship’s international expansion, with a particular focus on their Delivery as a Service (DaaS) product. Through DaaS, Starship robots seamlessly integrate into partner delivery networks, further maximising their reach and impact.

With its commitment to sustainability, ethical practices, and cutting-edge technology, Starship Technologies may change how we look at the delivery services’ model and method. This latest funding round propels them towards achieving their ambitious vision of transforming daily lives through autonomous robot deliveries across the globe.

Related Posts

Get daily funding news briefings in the tech world delivered right to your inbox.

Enter Your Email
join our newsletter. thank you