Starship Technologies Secures $17.2 (€16.5) Million in Seed Funding
Daimler AG and top VCs lead Starship Technologies funding for the world’s first robotic delivery service
SAN FRANCISCO, JANUARY 12, 2017
Starship Technologies, the company building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally, today announced $17.2 million (€16.5 mil.) 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.
“Starship is reinventing the last mile transportation process, allowing convenient and sustainable robotic delivery,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies. “This funding further accelerates development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programs in several new markets”.
Starship Technologies entered a partnership with Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz Vans in 2016 to begin developing and testing ‘Robovan,’ the world’s first transportation system integrating specifically adapted vans with autonomous delivery robots to create greater delivery efficiencies. “Starship Technologies and Mercedes-Benz Vans share a strong vision: We both strive to fundamentally change the way we think about the delivery on the last mile. Together, we will make that vision come true and show the potential of robotic delivery devices in a combined holistic transportation system. Starship’s unique technology fits perfectly with our vans”, said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
“The way we move physical objects has changed dramatically thanks to Amazon and other delivery companies. Starship is enabling the trend and opening use-cases for the future that we can’t even imagine yet.” said Hardi Meybaum, General Partner at Matrix Partners. “Our investment in Starship is special because one of Matrix’s earliest investments was FedEx; Starship is bringing us full circle with the future of delivery using autonomous robots”. “Starship Technologies has proven the viability of ground-based robotic delivery, showing us that it’s not just a far-fetched idea – it’s our reality today,” said Rob Coneybeer, co-founder and managing director, Shasta Ventures.
Starship Technologies is running commercial delivery pilot programs in the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with partners like Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post, Wolt and others offering robotic delivery for the food, grocery and parcel industries.
Robots developed by Starship Technologies have now covered over 16,000 miles around the world in 16 countries and 59 cities, encountering over 3.1 million people, and recently started testing in Washington D.C., Redwood City, California and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
ABOUT STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES
Starship Technologies is building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally in 15-30 minutes within a 2-3 mile radius. The robots 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 parcels, groceries and food are delivered.
Daimler AG (daimler.com) is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies. With its divisions Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services, the Daimler Group is one of the biggest producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach. Daimler Financial Services provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance, financial investments, credit cards, and innovative mobility services. Daimler sells its vehicles and services in nearly all the countries of the world and has production facilities in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Its current brand portfolio includes, in addition to the world’s most valuable premium automotive brand, Mercedes-Benz, as well as Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes me, the brands Smart, Freightliner, Western Star, BharatBenz, FUSO, Setra and Thomas Built Buses, and Daimler Financial Services’ brands: Mercedes-Benz Bank, Mercedes-Benz Financial, Daimler Truck Financial, moovel, car2go and mytaxi. The company is listed on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt and Stuttgart (stock exchange symbol DAI).
ABOUT SHASTA VENTURES
Shasta Ventures is a leading early-stage venture capital firm partnering with bold creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about building great products and amazing experiences. Founded in 2004, Shasta Ventures has funded more than 100 companies focused on consumer technology, enterprise software and emerging platforms including Apptio, Dollar Shave Club, Mint, Nest and many promising private companies such as Anaplan, Eero, Nextdoor, Smule, Survios and Zuora, among others. The firm is based in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California. Find out more at www.shastaventures.com, or follow us on Twitter at @shasta.
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, Bejiing, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Reach us at www.matrixpartners.com and @MatrixPartners.
ABOUT ZX VENTURES
ZX Ventures is a global incubator and venture capital team funded by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer. The fund stimulates disruptive growth through brand, product and channel development. The purpose of ZX Ventures is to make products, services and technologies that bring people together to celebrate and share great times, and to offer the world what it hasn’t yet even imagined. ZX Ventures’ unparalleled access to Anheuser-Busch InBev’s research, technology and distribution networks allows us to have a deep understanding of products and what the consumer wants, as well as to anticipate and meet what their needs will be in the future. ZX Ventures also seeks to develop partnerships with the best start-ups, entrepreneurs, designers and engineers to work together to launch big ideas in very meaningful ways.
ABOUT MORPHEUS VENTURES
About Morpheus Ventures: Morpheus invests in disruption of large markets across the technology landscape from consumer to enterprise technologies including mobile, SaaS, big data analytics platforms, AI and machine learning. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
ABOUT GRISHIN ROBOTICS
Grishin Robotics is a VC firm based in Silicon Valley and London, currently investing its second early-stage fund. Founded in 2012, we have been one of the first to start supporting entrepreneurs in robotics, IoT, AI, smart hardware and associated software.
ABOUT PLAYFAIR CAPITAL
Playfair Capital is a London-based early stage venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs building technology companies that re-imagine the way we live, work and play. We focus on companies creating experiential products and services to solve complex, high-value problems by using a combination of novel core technology, data and design. We provide the financial, operational, and strategic support our founders need to build category-leading companies. Since 2010, Playfair has backed over 45 companies including DueDil, Appear Here, Mapillary and Numerai.
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