In a move that underscores the growing demand for autonomous delivery services, Starship Technologies, known for its autonomous delivery robots, has entered into a commercial partnership with Bolt, often referred to as Europe's premier mobility "super-app."
The immediate result of this collaboration will see Bolt Food deliveries being carried out by Starship’s robots in several countries, beginning this year.
This announcement coincides with a significant milestone for Starship, which recently became the first company in the autonomous delivery space to complete 5 million commercial deliveries globally. This achievement comes shortly after their 4 million delivery benchmark, set in November 2022, underscoring the rapidly growing interest in automated delivery services.
With a footprint in over 45 countries and 500 cities worldwide, Bolt boasts more than 100 million customers. Their diversified mobility services span from ride hailing and micromobility to food and grocery deliveries, as well as car-sharing. This collaboration with Starship will further diversify Bolt's offerings, providing a myriad of delivery options based on the size of the order and distance, with a view to boosting profitability.
Bolt’s president, Jevgeni Kabanov, commented, “Both Bolt and Starship have innovated ways in which people navigate cities and purchase goods. This partnership aims to combine our services, offering Bolt Food customers an eco-friendly delivery method via Starship’s proven platform. Looking ahead, we see potential in extending our partnership to enhance delivery affordability and accessibility."
Alastair Westgarth, Starship Technologies' CEO, added,
“Both our firms are united in the mission of promoting sustainable local transportation. Starship’s role in this is to ensure efficient autonomous deliveries.”
Echoing Westgarth's sentiment, Ahti Heinla, co-founder and CTO of Starship Technologies, noted the synergy between the two companies, believing that Bolt's diverse service portfolio will aid Starship's expansion into new markets while presenting novel electric delivery solutions to Bolt's clientele.
Both Starship Technologies and Bolt trace their origins back to Estonia, a nation gaining recognition for its technological advancements and producing a significant number of tech unicorns relative to its population size. Starship’s co-founders previously had ties with Skype, another renowned tech unicorn from Estonia.
Starship’s fleet of over 2,000 robots has been achieving Level 4 autonomous driving since 2018, with a daily record of 140,000 road crossings worldwide. In April 2023, the company shared that its robots have traversed more than 10 million kilometers globally, a distance they claim surpasses the milestones set by renowned autonomous car developers, Waymo and Cruise.
The reach of Starship Technologies is expanding, with recent introductions in UK cities like Wakefield and existing presences in Milton Keynes, Northampton, and other locales. The company also has a notable presence on several U.S. university campuses. Currently, Starship's services are available in over 50 global regions, bringing autonomous delivery options to millions daily.