- Starship, a European-based startup, raises $17M
- It develops a small, sidewalk delivery robot
- The startups was founded in Estonia and now headquartered in the UK, it is one of the most advanced companies in this field
- It has now raised over $99M but has still minimal revenue as most of its activity is linked to limited experimentations with larger companies (such as Sodexo and Pepsico), mostly on US university campuses
- The small robot has now performed more than 1 million deliveries (in Europe, mostly in Germany, Estonia and the UK, and in the US)
Why it matters – DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:
On 2020, the lockdowns have been frustrating for companies such as Starship. Universities shut down their doors and traveling from Europe to the US was almost stalled, which made impossible to put the robots on the streets where they would have been needed.
However, the pandemic has shown how useful and needed delivery robots (for meals or groceries) are needed when we face a surge of delivery orders. This has boosted the interest for this category and also for drone deliveries (see a list of experiments during COVID here). Now, experiments that would have taken years to receive approval are conducted in the streets (such as Dragon Tail’s drone pizza deliveries for Pizza Hut in Israël).
As explained in this interview of Starship’s founder, this funding is only a step on a long journey. It will help finance its development and new experiments. Robots are not ready yet to enter big cities for deliveries.