Starship Technologies, the maker of small autonomous vehicles for home deliveries, has raised another $25 million in additional seed funding and has appointed 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.
The newly appointed Starship CEO Bayer says: “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.
“This additional funding will allow us to deploy our robots in neighbourhoods as well as corporate and university campuses in the US and Europe.”
Bayer 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, Bayer founded online payments company Spare Change Payments and served as CEO until its acquisition by PlaySpan in 2009.
After the sale, Bayer 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 in March 2011 for over $190 million.
Starship co-founder Janus Friis says: “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.
Starship co-founder and CTO Ahti Heinla, says: “Today’s announcement represents a major milestone.
“With the start of our commercial rollout, additional funding and Lex joining the team, we are ready to take the business to new heights.”
Matrix Partner’s Hardi Meybaum, says: “Starship Technologies has demonstrated that it has the potential to transform the industry. Autonomous delivery isn’t tomorrow’s reality – it’s today’s.
Kristian Blaszcynski of Morpheus Ventures, says: “We’ve been impressed by Starship’s ability to deliver its services to partners on both sides of the Atlantic.”