Starship Technologies brings in an additional $25 million and announces new CEO
Airbnb veteran Lex Bayer joins Starship Technologies as CEO to spearhead business expansion amidst commercial rollout of autonomous delivery
San Francisco and London June 7, 2018 — Starship Technologies announces $25 million (€21.4 mil.) in additional seed funding and the appointment of Lex Bayer as Chief Executive Officer. The round includes follow-on investments from existing investors including Matrix Partners and Morpheus Ventures. Additional investors include Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, Skype founding engineer Jaan Tallinn, and former chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Gary Barber.
“I’m delighted to join the Starship team at this inflection point in the company’s journey and look forward to helping the business build on its position as the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery ,” said Starship CEO Lex Bayer. “This additional funding will allow us to deploy our robots in neighbourhoods as well as corporate and university campuses in the US and Europe.”
Lex joins Starship from Airbnb where he led the Business Development, Payments and Airbnb for Businesses functions of the company. Since joining Airbnb in 2013, the business saw a growth in guest arrivals from 6 million to over 100 million people during a four-year period. Prior to joining Airbnb, Lex founded online payments company Spare Change Payments and served as CEO until its acquisition by PlaySpan in 2009. After the sale, Lex served as a key part of PlaySpan team that took the business through triple-digit growth, a Series C funding round and its eventual acquisition by Visa Inc. in March 2011 for over $190M.
Starship co-founder Janus Friis commented “We are at the point where we are ready to start deploying our network of robots at scale. 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.”
Robots developed by Starship Technologies have now covered over 100,000 miles around the world in 20 countries and over 100 cities, encountering over 15 million people along the way.
“Today’s announcement represents a major milestone,” concluded Starship co-founder and CTO Ahti Heinla. “with the start of our commercial rollout, additional funding and Lex joining the team, we are ready to take the business to new heights”.
“Starship Technologies has demonstrated that it has the potential to transform the industry. Autonomous delivery isn’t tomorrow’s reality – it’s today’s,” said Matrix Partner’s Hardi Meybaum. “We’ve been impressed by Starship’s ability to deliver its services to partners on both sides of the Atlantic” said Kristian Blaszcynski of Morpheus Ventures. “Starship’s current deployments on campuses and neighbourhoods in the U.S. and the U.K. point to the future of delivery.”
About Starship Technologies
Starship Technologies is building a fleet of robots designed to deliver goods locally in 15-60 minutes. The delivery robots have travelled tens of thousands of miles, met millions of people and have been tested in over 100 cities around the world to date. They drive autonomously but are monitored by humans who can take over control at any time. Launched in July 2014, by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, Starship is changing the way packages, groceries and food are delivered.
About Matrix Partners
Matrix Partners works with visionary founders of early-stage startups to amplify their potential. Our general partners blend deep experience with personal commitment to support founders from start to success. Recent Matrix investments include Oculus VR, Zendesk, Hubspot, Acacia Communications, Polyvore, Lever, Poynt and Namely. Founded in 1977, Matrix Partners has East and West Coast offices (San Francisco and Cambridge) as well as offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Reach us at www.matrixpartners.com and @MatrixPartners.
Harry Potts (UK) / Suzanne Hirsh (US)
Liberty Communications for Starship Technologies
+44 207 751 4444 / +1 415 429 5652
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