Listen to this article
Kiwibot, a company developing delivery robots, announced it raised $7.5 million in Pre-Series A funding. The company also announced an expansion deal with Sodexo.
Five investors participated in the funding round, including Sodexo, Headline and House of Lithium. The funding will help the company further develop technology and expand the robots’ reach across multiple college campuses and cities. To date, the company has raised a total of $14 million.
Kiwibot’s expansion deal with Sodexo will bring its fleet of 200 robots to 1,200 by the end of 2022. Kiwibot also hopes to bring its robots to 50 U.S. college campuses by the end of the year. College students at those campuses can use their meal plans from Sodexo to have food delivered with Kiwibot.
“The early success of our Kiwibot partnership has shown that automated delivery is not only possible and reliable, it’s desirable,” Sarosh Mistry, chair of Sodexo North America, said. “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.”
Kiwibot is currently making deliveries at New Mexico State University, Loyola Marymount University and Gonzaga University. The robot is also delivering at several places in Washington D.C. In total, Kiwibot is delivering at 10 locations currently.
“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,” Felipe Chávez Cortés, the CEO and co-founder of Kiwibot, said. “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.”
Kiwibot was established in 2017, and in the same year launched its first pilot program at the University of California-Berkeley campus. To date, it has made over 200,000 deliveries. The company announced a partnership with Careem in November 2021 to fulfill orders in Dubai.