The robots are here and one company, Starship Technologies, has raised $25 million to bring even more to the mainstream. This latest round of funding includes a follow-on investment from Matrix Partners and Morpheus Ventures. New investors include Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, Skype founding engineer Jaan Tallinn and others.
These autonomous robots can carry items, like groceries or packages, within a two-mile radius. The plan with the funding is to deploy Starship robots in neighborhoods, corporate and university campuses in both the U.S. and Europe.
Starship has also brought on former Airbnb business development lead Lex Bayer as chief executive officer.
“We are at the point where we are ready to start deploying our network of robots at scale,” Starship co-founder Janus Friis said in a statement. “This additional funding, and Lex’s appointment, will allow us to bring our services to market. Lex joins us with a proven track record of growing businesses that change the way we live for the better.”
But Starship is by no means the only company operating in this space. There’s Boxbot, a startup that recently received a permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver, and Nuro.
Starship has previously partnered with on-demand food delivery companies like DoorDash and Postmates to test out its robot delivery service. Last January, Starship partnered with the aforementioned companies for a pilot program in Redwood City, Calif. and Washington, D.C. To date, Starship robots have traveled more than 100,000 miles in 20 countries, across 100 cities.
Prior to this round, Starship raised $17.2 million in a seed round led by Mercedes-Benz Vans with participation from Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Venturers, Morpheus Ventures and others.