News ID: 281313
Published: 1216 GMT March 03, 2021

Uber spins off robot delivery unit of Postmates

Uber spins off robot delivery unit of Postmates
CHRIS DELMAS/AFP

A Postmates robot brings food to customers in Los Angeles, US –the robotics division of Postmates, acquired by Uber last year, will be spun out as an independent company.

Uber is spinning off the sidewalk robotics division of the Postmates delivery service acquired last year, creating a new company called Serve Robotics.

A statement from Serve Robotics said it had an unspecified amount of seed funding from venture capital firm Neo with participation by Uber and other investors, AFP reported.

Serve Robotics "will continue spearheading the development of a new form of mobility by creating autonomous robots to deliver goods in urban environments," a statement from the new company said on Tuesday.

"Its fleet has already proven its viability by serving thousands of households in Los Angeles and has been especially useful during the pandemic by providing customers with contactless delivery."

The move comes with Uber narrowing its focus on ride-hailing and meal delivery, while spinning off or selling non-core operations such as its e-bike division.

Serve meanwhile enters a crowded market for robotic delivery which has gained traction in recent years.

"While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all," said Ali Kashani, cofounder and chief executive of Serve Robotics.

"Over the next two decades, new mobility robots will enter every aspect of our lives – first moving food, then everything else."

According to Serve, nearly half of all restaurant deliveries in the US are within a 40-minute walk, offering opportunities for robotic delivery.

Uber last year announced plans to buy Postmates for $2.65 billion in stock, in a move shaking up the sector which has seen surging growth during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

   
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