Coming full circle on last mile delivery: from FedEx to Starship Technologies


I first met Ahti Heinla, a fellow Estonian and co-founder of Skype when he invested early in my company GrabCAD. In working together, Ahti proved to be not only a great investor but also one of the most technically talented people I’ve ever met. He played an important role in overcoming some of the biggest technical challenges we faced at GrabCAD; he even wrote some code.

After selling GrabCAD I knew I wanted to work with Ahti again, so I’m very excited to announce our investment in his latest company, Starship Technologies. Starship is an autonomous robotics delivery company and is the next revolution in the future of last-mile delivery.

Starship is a special investment for Matrix Partners as a firm too; as early investors in FedEx back in the day, Starship is bringing us full circle from the past to the future of delivery.

Back in the 1970’s, a fledgling FedEx created a delivery system designed to accommodate time-sensitive shipments. Traditionally, shipments of goods was reliant on existing passenger routes, leading to great economic inefficiencies. By de-coupling airfreight delivery from existing passenger routes, FedEx revolutionized the future of delivery of goods by vastly improving speed and reliability.

Just as FedEx paved the way decades ago for the future (our present) of delivery, Starship is the new future. They have built a fleet of autonomous robots designed to travel within a 2–3 mile radius and deliver packages within 15–30 minutes. Their robots have already covered over 16,000 miles around the world in 16 countries and 59 cities. Along the way, their friendly robots have encountered 3.1 million people and they’ve recently begun testing in Washington D.C. and Redwood City, CA.

We’re very excited to be working with Ahti and the Starship team and look forward to supporting the the great things they have in store.

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