Starship Technologies, a London company that’s building autonomous robots for deliveries, has raised $17.2 million (€16.5 million) in a seed round led by automotive giant Daimler.

Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital also participated in the round.

Lead investor Daimler, through its Mercedes-Benz company, had previously begun a partnership with the startup to help develop the autonomous vehicles, namely a Mercedes-Benz van for deliveries. Starship says that its small autonomous vehicles are “reinventing” the last mile of goods deliveries.

“This funding further accelerates development of our technologies and enables us to launch pilot programs in several new markets,” said CEO Ahti Heinla.

Starship has already commenced commercial pilots for the robots in the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Estonia, delivering food, groceries, and parcels. Its partners so far include Just Eat, Hermes, Metro Group, Swiss Post, and Wolt. According to the company, its self-driving vehicles have covered 16,000 miles so far.

“Starship Technologies has proven the viability of ground-based robotic delivery, showing us that it’s not just a far-fetched idea – it’s our reality today,” added Rob Coneybeer, managing director of Shasta Ventures.

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