Kiwibot, the Colombian robotic sidewalk delivery startup with a new headquarters in Miami, has agreed a “multimillion-dollar contract expansion” with Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company.
This contract will enable Kiwibot to expand its robotic fleet, delivering more than 1,200 robots across 50 US college campuses, with Sodexo, by the end of 2022.
Sarosh Mistry, chair, Sodexo North America, says: “The early success of our Kiwibot partnership has shown that automated delivery is not only possible and reliable, it’s desirable.
“Sodexo is focused on meeting our clients and consumers where they are, and Kiwibot helps us do that. This year, more students than ever will benefit from autonomous delivery and we’re pleased to be at the forefront of this emerging market.”
But it doesn’t stop there. Kiwibot has also raised a pre-Series A of around $7.5 million from five investors, bringing its total raised so far to $14 million. One of the investors is Sodexo, which are doubling down on their efforts to implement safe, convenient foodservice solutions.
Two other lead investors, Headline and House of Lithium, are dedicated to driving the future of smart university campuses. This funding will go towards developing further technology and expanding the robot’s reach across multiple college campuses and cities.
Joseph Huang, partner at Headline, says: “As Kiwibot has both cash and contracts in hand, we really appreciate being chosen to help them negotiate with manufacturers, speed up the manufacturing process for the next Kiwibot generation, and open up Asia’s markets for the robots.
Andy DeFrancesco, chairman at House of Lithium, says: “We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Kiwibot journey. It has a rockstar team, cutting edge technology, and an amazing partner in Sodexo. Kiwibot will revolutionize the last mile delivery business.”
Due to the well-established partnership between Kiwibot and Sodexo, Spring 2022 is expected to begin with Kiwibots rolling in 10 campuses, a breakthrough to reach the goal of 50 locations this year.
To date, robotic last-mile deliveries have been successfully taking place in New Mexico State University, Loyola Marymount University, and Gonzaga University as well as in various places in Washington DC, which demonstrates the increasing potential of this business.
With its cute-proclaimed and semi-autonomous robots, Kiwibot offers in-field customer support and integration with any business’s point-of-sale to distribute food products, without the high commission rate for food delivery services. College students can use their meal plans from Sodexo to enjoy Kiwibot’s delivery service.
Felipe Chávez Cortés, the CEO and co-founder of Kiwibot, says: “We have been intensely working in the robotic food delivery field for the last five years, and this funding will allow us to expand the business at the speed that the market is demanding.
“We are set to build the most advanced robot delivery fleet: building 100 robots a month, expanding to exciting locations, and connecting with new partners, universities, and cities to advance safe and equitable mobility with zero-emission solutions.”