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Cartken raised $22.5 million to take its delivery robots from the sidewalks to indoor settings

Robotics startup Cartken is carving out a unique niche in the autonomous vehicle industry with its versatile delivery robots that can operate seamlessly in indoor and outdoor environments, attracting significant investor interest and finding applications across various sectors.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Cartken raised $22.5 million to take its delivery robots from the sidewalks to indoor settings
Credit: Cartken

Cartken, a robotics startup founded by former Google engineers, is best known for its delivery robots which handle about 36,000 monthly last-mile deliveries in college campuses in Miami, Fairfax, Virginia, and Tokyo thanks to partnerships with Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Mitsubishi Electric. However, the company's plans have always included bringing its delivery robots to indoor settings, including biotech, pharmaceutical, and automotive campuses. At a factory owned by Germany-based ZF, Cartken robots deliver parts that would otherwise have to be shuttled by the factory's technicians via bicycle. Cartken estimates its robots have saved employees across its collaborators more than 10,000 hours in transportation.

Fortunately for Cartken, investors are on its side; the company recently increased its total funding to $22.5 million after closing a $10 million funding round led by 468 Capital, with participation from Incubate Fund, LDV Partners, and Vela Partners, and mobility technology leaders Magna International, Shell Ventures, and Mitsubishi Electric. The company plans to leverage the funds to deepen its strategic partnerships and scale its self-driving technology to continue revolutionizing last-mile sidewalk delivery and break into industrial automation.

While most self-driving technologies are focused on either outdoor or indoor navigation and struggle to make the transition from one to the other, Cartken innovative approach uses an AI-first, camera and sensor-based system that doesn't rely on lidar or GPS. This system allows its robots to transition between indoor and outdoor settings seamlessly and has attracted interest from various industries, including biotech, pharmaceutical, and automotive sectors.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Updated

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