Starship Technologies raised more than $56 million (50 million euro) through a quasi-equity facility agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union (EU).
The financing has been facilitated through a venture loan and is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is part of the investment plan for Europe, and its goal is to boost long term economic growth in the EU.
“Electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes will be part of our future, and can be a key part in the sustainable transport puzzle,” EIB vice president Thomas Östros said. “Starship’s delivery robots are already proving their worth, and we are glad to support the company so that they can continue to develop their technology and scale-up their production.”
Starship plans to use the funding to further research and development, as well as to build thousands more robots at the company’s engineering and innovation facility in Tallinn, Estonia.
The company was founded in 2014, and since then its robots have completed over 2.5 million deliveries. Its sidewalk robots have been operating at L4 autonomy since 2018.
Starship’s robots are able to carry up to 100 lb. and deliver within a 4-mile radius in the cities they operate in. Its robots are at work in 15 different college campuses. Most recently, it announced that its robots will begin deliveries on SMU’s campus.
“We’re proud of our European roots as well as the growing team there that remains a vital part of our operations. As the market leader in autonomous delivery we are constantly looking to innovate and find new ways to improve our service,” CEO of Starship Alastair Westgarth said. “This backing from the EIB will help enable us to continue to reshape last-mile delivery and bring the benefits of on demand delivery and convenience to millions more people. The additional engineering resources that we will hire in Europe will be another key component in making this possible.”
Starship’s zero-emission robots make more than 100,000 road crossings every day and have traveled over three million miles.