Estonian-founded robotics startup Starship secures USD17.2 million in seed funding

The Estonian-founded startup, Starship Technologies, that builds a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally, today announced it had secured USD17.2 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Daimler AG, along with Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital and a number of other investors.

“This funding further accelerates the development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programmes in several new markets,” Ahti Heinla, the CEO of the company, said in a statement.

Partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans

According to the Starship, it entered into a partnership with Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz Vans in 2016 to begin to develop and test the “Robovan”, the world’s first transportation system integrating specifically adapted vans with autonomous delivery robots to create greater delivery efficiencies.

starship-4

Starship is running commercial delivery pilot programmes in the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with partners like Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post, Wolt and others, offering robotic delivery for the food, groceries and other parcels, the company said.

Starship in London XII

Robots developed by Starship have now covered over 16,000 miles around the world in 16 countries and 59 cities, encountering over 3.1 million people, and the company has recently started testing in Washington, DC; Redwood City, CA; and Fayetteville, AR.

The company’s autonomous robots are designed to deliver goods locally in 15-30 minutes within a two-three-mile radius.

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Cover: One of Starship’s robots next to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.