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Estonia: Starship Technologies agrees €50m funding partnership from the EIB


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Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, has today announced that the company agreed on a €50m quasi-equity facility agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB).


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Funding injection to boost R&D for market leading on-demand robot delivery service

Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, has today announced that the company agreed on a €50m quasi-equity facility agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The lending arm of the European Union (EU) and one of the largest providers of climate finance, the EIB supports projects that promote the priorities and objectives of the EU. This financing, which is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, has been facilitated via a venture loan, and will be used for research and development, including the building of thousands more robots at Starship’s engineering and innovation facility in Tallinn. 

Alastair Westgarth, CEO, Starship Technologies, said: “We’re proud of our European roots as well as the growing team there that remains a vital part of our operations. As the market leader in autonomous delivery we are constantly looking to innovate and find new ways to improve our service. This backing from the EIB will help enable us to continue to reshape last-mile delivery and bring the benefits of on demand delivery and convenience to millions more people. The additional engineering resources that we will hire in Europe will be another key component in making this possible.”

Electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes will be part of our future, and can be a key part in the sustainable transport puzzle,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. “Starship’s delivery robots are already proving their worth, and we are glad to support the company so that they can continue to develop their technology and scale-up their production.”

Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “This EIB funding for Starship is a great example of how the Investment Plan for Europe can boost innovation in Europe. The additional funding will benefit the development of the company’s autonomous delivery services, thereby further improving services for consumers and contributing to Europe’s ever-growing and vibrant research, technology and innovation ecosystem.”  

Starship already offers its services in many parts of the EU, UK and the US in cities, university campuses and industrial campuses, with further expansion planned in the near future. Starship is able to do L4 deliveries everywhere it operates - entire cities and campuses. The robots have been operating at L4 since 2018. On a daily basis Starship robots will complete numerous deliveries in a row 100% autonomously, including road crossings. This is why the cost of a Starship delivery is now lower than the human equivalent, which is believed to be a world first for any robot delivery company, whereas most others are still majority human controlled and in pilot mode.

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots make more than 100,000 road crossings every day and have completed more than 2.5 million commercial deliveries and travelled 5 million kms (3 million+ miles) globally, more than any other autonomous delivery provider. 

The Starship Food Delivery app is available for download on iOS and Android. To get started, customers choose from a range of their favourite food or drink items, then drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. The user can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, the customer receives an alert, and can then meet the robot and unlock it through the app.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy objectives. 

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It provides first loss guarantees enabling the EIB Group to invest in riskier projects. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI have so far mobilised €546.5 billion in investment, benefitting over 1.4 million SMEs.

Starship Technologies is revolutionizing deliveries with autonomous robots that travel on the pavement. The robots are designed to deliver food, groceries and packages locally in minutes. The delivery robots have traveled millions of miles and completed more than 2.5 million autonomous deliveries around the world. Starship was founded by Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis (Skype Chief Architect and Co-founder) and Alastair Westgarth is the CEO.