Uber Spins Out Postmates’ Autonomous Delivery Division as Serve Robotics

Now operating as an independent startup, Serve Robotics will continue to create and deploy autonomous robots to deliver food and other goods in metropolitan areas.

Written by Jeremy Porr
Published on Mar. 02, 2021
Uber Spins Out Postmates’ Autonomous Delivery Division as Serve Robotics
A Serve Robotics service vehicle takes to the streets of Los Angeles.
photo: Serve Robotics

The robotics division of Postmates, the food delivery startup that Uber acquired last year, announced Tuesday that it has spun off into a new company, Serve Robotics. The San Francisco-based company also announced the close of its seed round although it did not publicly disclose the funding amount.

Serve Robotics will continue to create and deploy autonomous robots to deliver food and other goods in metropolitan areas. The company’s fleet has already conquered Los Angeles.

“While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all,” Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics, said in a statement. “Over the next two decades, new mobility robots will enter every aspect of our lives — first moving food, then everything else.”

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It’s no secret that interest in contactless delivery has surged due to the pandemic. U.S. food delivery app revenue is expected to grow from $26.5 billion in 2020 to $42 billion over the next five years, according to the company.

As an independent startup, Serve Robotics will look to expand its market reach through new partnerships. According to Bloomberg, the company also plans to expand its current fleet of robots from dozens to thousands.

Uber will remain a minority shareholder as part of the deal. The ride-hailing company has been busy making a ton more deals over the last year for a myriad of its offshoots.

In May, the company sold its micromobility darling Jump to Lime. In December, the company sold its autonomous driving leg to Aurora Innovation. Uber led massive investments in both Lime and Aurora, totaling $170 million and $400 million, respectively.

Serve Robotics will launch with a team of 60 people. The team will be spread out across the company’s headquarters in San Francisco in addition to its offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

The seed round was led by venture capital firm Neo. Additional investors Uber and Long Journey Ventures participated in the round alongside Postmates’ co-founders Bastian Lehmann and Sean Plaice.

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