Starship completed a million autonomous deliveries
Today, I am proud to announce that we have reached one million autonomous deliveries, more than 6 years after the company was founded in 2014. We believe that no other company in the world has made so many autonomous deliveries – including self-driving taxis. We also raised an additional $ 17 million and added service to two new campuses – UCLA and Bridgewater State University (Massachusetts) in the United States. This new investment brings the total funding of Starship to $ 102 million to date.
We were not sure where the millionth deliveries would take place, because around 15-20 service areas are open around the world, and all robots deliver every minute. Eventually it happened in Bowling Green, Ohio, to a student named Annika Keeton who is a freshman studying pre-medical biology at BGSU. Annika is now part of the history of Starship!
Six years ago, we wouldn’t have believed we would make a 1m delivery in January 2021 – we’d love to achieve that sooner! But it turned out to be difficult to get delivery robots to work with a high degree of autonomy in multiple countries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making thousands of deliveries a day and millions of miles a year. Luckily, we have an incredibly talented team at Starship whom I thank for making this milestone possible. It may have taken us 6 years to make the first million deliveries, but we expect that the next million will only take a few months!
Today we also launched UCLA, which is considered one of the best public schools in the U.S., and we deliver services from restaurants including Blaze Pizza, Bruin Buzz, Lu Valle and Southern Lights. Bridgewater State University (Masachusetts) also now provides delivery from on-campus restaurants, including Starbucks Cafe and Bears Den.
Additional funds are coming at a time of growing interest in the autonomous delivery industry. Contactless delivery has proven to be one of the most reliable ways to protect vulnerable populations and enable social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to provide contactless food and grocery deliveries at such a challenging time for so many people. Demand has increased 5 times in the settlements since the beginning of the pandemic.
We have continued to grow exponentially since the launch of our first commercial delivery service in 2018. Over the past year, Starship has set several new in-house delivery records and expanded to more university campuses, including Arizona State University (ASU), University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and UC Irvine. In addition to opening a service in Mountain View, California, we also began deliveries to Modesto, CA with our new partner, The Save Mart Companies.
If you are interested in tackling difficult challenges and want to have a positive impact on local communities as well as the environment, we would love to hear from you as we are currently hiring for more roles. We plan to increase the Starship team by about 40-50% this year alone. Bring 2021!