New investment includes backing from Artiman Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures
Boxbot, a startup focused on self-driving delivery vehicles, announced today that it has raised a $7.5 million round of seed funding.
This new funding round was led by Artiman Ventures, and includes an investment from Toyota AI Ventures, a subsidiary of the Toyota Research Institute that invests in early-stage startups in artificial intelligence, data/cloud, autonomous mobility, and robotics. This is Toyota AI Ventures first investment in the self-driving delivery space. Pear Ventures, Afore Capital, Ironfire Ventures and The House Fund also invested in this new round.
Boxbot —co-founded in late 2016 by veteran engineers from Tesla and Uber— is working to address the last-mile problem in logistics, through a combination of robotics and autonomous systems. The Boxbot team has extensive experience working for some of the most prominent companies in the fields of autonomous systems, robotics, and logistics (including Tesla, Uber, Amazon, Getaround and Northrop Grumman, among others).
Data shows that the last-mile is often the single most expensive part of the delivery process. Global consulting firm McKinsey & Company has estimated that autonomous vehicles will make 80% of last-mile deliveries by 2025.
"Over the next few years, self-driving vehicles will transform the last-mile, making it cheaper to make deliveries and easier to receive them," said Brian Wilcove, a partner at Artiman Ventures. "Boxbot has a unique approach, and deep expertise across the disciplines that will drive that transformation. Were excited to join them on this journey."
With this latest investment, Boxbot has raised a total of $9 million in funding. The company previously raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding from Pear Ventures, Afore Capital, The House Fund, The Graduate Syndicate and a number of angel investors.
Boxbot (http://boxbot.io) was founded in 2016 by Austin Oehlerking and Mark Godwin. The company is based in Oakland, California.
Austin, Boxbots co-founder and CEO, started working on electric vehicles and robotics at MIT. After graduating from MIT, he worked as Director of Vehicle Engineering for Arcimoto, an Oregon startup developing electric commuter vehicles. Later, he joined Tesla Motors and led projects for the Rav4 EV and Model S as a software engineer. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Mark, Boxbots co-founder and CTO, has worked with drones, self-driving cars, and logistics since 2004. While pursuing a PhD at UC Berkeley he developed machine learning algorithms for autonomous vehicles, built drones for the Office of Naval Research and competed in the DARPA Urban Grand Challenge. After receiving his PhD, he founded a startup to make transportation networks more efficient with machine learning algorithms, before joining Uber in 2014.