Starship Technologies, the world’s leader in autonomous delivery robots has announced the completion of a $42 million Series B funding round, making a total of $100 million raised in just 30 days, almost doubling the total investment they have raised to $202 million. The round, led by the Japanese-Nordic VC firm NordicNinja and Estonian Taavet+Sten, will continue their plans to scale their service and launch in new cities.
Starship has seen its business grow rapidly since its launch in 2014. In the UK they have piloted their service extensively in Milton Keynes, where their autonomous robots will collect deliveries from shops, then navigate pavements and roads to deliver them straight to the purchaser.
140 robots in Milton Keynes, UK
The 140 robots serving Milton Keynes — their largest single fleet — form part of 1,700-strong fleet of robots worldwide, which is set to grow further as Starship expand into new cities and launch services on a number of US-college campuses.
Starship has passed a series of milestones in the past year, establishing its position as leaders. Their robots have operated at level 4 automation since 2018. The second-highest level of automation, means that although a human override is possible, the robot will handle most situations itself, even when the unexpected happens or things go wrong. The robot will safely navigate its way around people walking, cycling, and driving on its way to its destination. A pedestrian waiting to cross the road in Milton Keynes may well find themselves waiting next to a Starship robot, patiently waiting for a safe crossing!
The level of autonomy has seen their robots complete 3 million deliveries, and they now operate at a lower cost than human delivery, something they believe they are the first in the world to accomplish. A milestone Sten Tamkivi, of Taavet+Sten, celebrated when pointing to “the millions of miles around the planet these robots have already covered. And many hundreds of millions more, as they have passed the crucial milestone making robot delivery more cost-effective than human equivalents.”
$55B autonomous delivery market
Starship are ambitious for the autonomous delivery market. Having invented the delivery robot, they are now poised to take advantage of the estimated $55 billion autonomous delivery market. The funding investment will help them keep their lead in the sector, which puts them well ahead of their rivals. NordicNinja’s managing partner, Shinichi Nikkuni, highlighted how advanced Starship’s technologies are: “Time and again, Starship has proven itself to be years ahead of others with world leading autonomous driving technology for pavement delivery, leading to accumulating more and more data and experiences through much wider commercial operations.”