San Francisco, August 20, 2019 – Starship Technologies, announced that it has closed $40M in Series A funding. In addition, the company announced that it plans to expand delivery services to 100 university campuses over the next two years. With this round of $40M, Starship Technologies has raised a total of $85M. The round was led by Morpheus Ventures with participation from prior investors including Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, MetaPlanet Holdings and others, as well as new investors including TDK Ventures, Qu Ventures and others.
The series A capital will be used to fund the planned expansion into the university market. Starship announced that delivery services will start this fall at Purdue University and the University of Pittsburgh. The company has already successfully completed 100,000 commercial deliveries worldwide since it’s inception in 2014.
“We’ve evaluated the autonomous tech market segment around the world, and Starship is miles ahead of others in bringing advanced technology valued by real paying customers”
Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director of TDK Ventures
Starship Goes to School
Starship Technologies is working with foodservice company Sodexo, Inc on several of the early deployment campuses. This started with George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), where it launched with what was then the world’s largest robotic delivery fleet, and later to Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ). Since the initial launches, both campuses have increased the number of robots, dining options and hours of operation to meet the high demand for the service.
Here at The Mobile Robot Guide, we’re excited to see Starship Technologies finally getting traction (pun intended) with its delivery service. There have been some hurdles to overcome with some of the cities where Starship originally piloted the delivery vehicles. This included complete bans on deploying autonomous delivery vehicles on sidewalks. However, the university delivery use case seems to be the key early market for Starship and it’s competitors.
The advantages of the university market include:
- ”Captive Market” – Student housing is localized within a close radius.
- Semi-public Environment – A University’s sidewalks are controlled by the university,
- Tech-literate Customers – Students all have smart phones.
- All Day Delivery – Students have needs throughout the day.
Image courtesy of Starship Technologies
The Starship Deliveries app is available for download on iOS and Android. To get started, users choose from a range of their favorite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. They can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, they receive an alert, and can then meet and unlock it through the app. Delivery fees vary by locations but are typically $1.99 or less.
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