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$40 M investment for Estonia’s robotics startup Starship, company to target US university campuses

Estonia’s autonomous delivery startup Starship Technologies announced that it has closed $40M in Series A funding.

The company, which has just become the first to complete 100,000 commercial deliveries, also announced that it plans to expand its service to 100 university campuses across the United States in the next 24 months.

Starship is working with the University of Pittsburgh and Sodexo in anticipation of a launch in the fall whilst Purdue University, Indiana is launching on September 9, with more following shortly.

Investment will be used to rapidly expand services

The company will use the new funding to rapidly expand its services to more university campuses. 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.

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots have traveled more than 350,000 miles, crossed 4M streets, and have just marked the milestone of completing 100,000 autonomous deliveries – the first self-driving robotics company to reach this number.

Thousands of pizzas and sushi rolls already delivered

Starship, which does both restaurant and grocery deliveries around the world has now delivered over 6,000 pizzas, 7,000 gallons of milk, 8,000 coffees, 9,000 sushi rolls, 15,000 bananas as well as over 3,700 diapers. Kevin House, a second-year student at George Mason University in Virginia, said, “I’ve used Starship over 100 times in just a few months. It’s really saved me so much time and reduced my stress, especially around finals. I love getting food delivered by a robot, it just makes life so much easier.”

“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,” said Nicolas Sauvage, Managing Director of TDK Ventures. “Starship’s machine learning, computer vision, and sensor fusion is the most advanced we’ve seen in autonomous robotic delivery. We look forward to contributing to the success of Starship in this important and emerging space.”

Services to be offered to over a million students

“This new investment will see Starship expand onto more campuses as we head towards a goal of offering our service to over one million students,” said Lex Bayer, CEO of Starship Technologies. “An entire generation of university students are growing up in a world where they expect to receive a delivery from a robot after a few taps on their smartphone. The reception to our service both on campuses and in neighborhoods has been phenomenal. Our customers appreciate how we make their lives easier and give them back the gift of time.”

Sophisticated technology in use

The robots use a combination of sophisticated sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to travel on sidewalks and navigate around any obstacles. Starship robots can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow. Since the robots are battery powered they reduce pollution as well as congestion by removing cars and vans from the delivery process.

In addition to university campuses, Starship also delivers groceries and packages in neighborhoods and a range of items on corporate campuses around the globe. The company has also played a role in helping to bring legislation allowing Delivery Robots to operate on sidewalks across nine U.S. states, The District of Columbia and several countries, including the company’s home country Estonia.

High-tech solutions from a robotically transformative nation

It is more and more clear that besides the country being a center for data and tech-driven startups, more and more Estonians, in addition to excelling in code writing and software development, are thrusting their hands deep into the wiring and metal of robots. Read more about how Estonia has become a robotically transformative nation here.

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