MIAMI, February 17, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Kiwibot, the Colombian robotic sidewalk delivery startup with a new headquarters in Miami, today announced a multimillion-dollar contract expansion with Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company. This contract will enable Kiwibot to expand its robotic fleet, delivering more than 1,200 robots across 50 U.S. college campuses, with Sodexo, by the end of 2022.
"The early success of our Kiwibot partnership has shown that automated delivery is not only possible and reliable, it's desirable," said Sarosh Mistry, Chair, Sodexo North America. "Sodexo is focused on meeting our clients and consumers where they are, and Kiwibot helps us do that. This year, more students than ever will benefit from autonomous delivery, and we're pleased to be at the forefront of this emerging market."
But it doesn't stop there. Kiwibot has also raised a pre-Series A of around US $7.5M from five investors, bringing its total raised so far to US $14M. One of the investors is Sodexo, which are doubling down on their efforts to implement safe, convenient foodservice solutions. Two other lead investors, Headline and House of Lithium, are dedicated to driving the future of smart university campuses. This funding will go towards developing further technology and expanding the robot's reach across multiple college campuses and cities.
"As Kiwibot has both cash and contracts in hand, we really appreciate being chosen to help them negotiate with manufacturers, speed up the manufacturing process for the next Kiwibot generation, and open up Asia's markets for the robots," said Joseph Huang, Partner at Headline.
"We couldn't be more excited to be a part of the Kiwibot journey. It has a rockstar team, cutting-edge technology, and an amazing partner in Sodexo. Kiwibot will revolutionize the last mile delivery business," said Andy DeFrancesco, Chairman of the Board, House of Lithium.
Due to the well-established partnership between Kiwibot and Sodexo, Spring 2022 is expected to begin with Kiwibots rolling in 10 campuses, a breakthrough to reach the goal of 50 locations this year. To date, robotic last-mile deliveries have been successfully taking place in New Mexico State University, Loyola Marymount University, and Gonzaga University as well as in various places in Washington D.C., which demonstrates the increasing potential of this business.
With its cute-proclaimed and semi-autonomous robots, Kiwibot offers in-field customer support and integration with any business's point-of-sale to distribute food products, without the high commission rate for food delivery services. College students can use their meal plans from Sodexo to enjoy Kiwibot's delivery service.
"We have been intensely working in the robotic food delivery field for the last five years, and this funding will allow us to expand the business at the speed that the market is demanding," said Felipe Chávez Cortés, the CEO and Co-Founder of Kiwibot. "We are set to build the most advanced robot delivery fleet: building 100 robots a month, expanding to exciting locations, and connecting with new partners, universities, and cities to advance safe and equitable mobility with zero-emission solutions."
Kiwibot was founded in 2017 and launched its first pilot at the University of California-Berkeley campus. The company is on a mission to revolutionize food delivery by utilizing semi-autonomous robots; they have made over 200,000 deliveries on university campuses and across U.S. cities to boost opportunities for locally-owned businesses and grant equitable access to food, medication, and libraries. The service model allows customers to launch a last-mile delivery system at a fraction of the time and cost, without the hassle of hiring a courier.
The recent partnerships with Careem, to autonomously fulfill local orders in Dubai, and with Knight Foundation, to advance safe and equitable mobility in four cities in the U.S., prove Kiwibot is passionate about bringing residents to the center of autonomous technology. And while making deliveries, the robots can map areas and collect infrastructure data for local authorities.
Sodexo North America is part of a global Fortune 500 company with a presence in 56 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management, and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities, and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports, and leisure, government, and other environments daily.
Name: Catalina Carvajal