- Starship Technologies has raised $90 million so far this year, with funding co-led by Plural and Iconical, the company said Tuesday.
- The tech firm, which has completed over 6 million deliveries using its autonomous robots, will use the funding to expand operations.
- Starship has raised a total of $230 million since its inception in 2014. The company has deployed its self-delivering robots across various college campuses in the U.S. and is currently in 80 locations around the world, including the the U.K., Germany, Denmark, Estonia and Finland.
The additional funding will allow Starship to further develop its artificial intelligence, technology and wireless charging infrastructure as well as expand into more international markets.
Starship rolled out wireless charging for its robots at George Mason University. Robots are able to recharge “autonomously and wirelessly in between deliveries,” per the release. The tech is expected to be added to more robots in future months, with a particular focus on its “delivery as a service” product that allows Starship’s bots to integrate within the delivery infrastructure of its partners, the company said.
Starship currently partners with several companies, including Grubhub, which began rolling out bots at five universities in 2022. Sodexo and Aramark have also deployed the bots at various colleges and universities in the past five years. One of Starship’s closest competitors, Kiwibot, also has a partnership with Grubhub as well as Sodexo, which began in 2022 across 50 college campuses. Kiwibot is a few years behind Starship — it was established in 2017 and has completed over 250,000 deliveries as of February 2023.
Starship said it took six years to reach 1 million deliveries and three years to complete the next five million. Its bots, which can navigate difficult terrain, now make three crossings on average around the world.
“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,” said Ahti Heinla, Starship co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “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.”