Wilko invests in autonomous delivery vehicle startup

UK homewares chain Wilko is investing £3 million in Oxford based StreetDrone to develop autonomous home deliveries.

The investment is part of a multi-million pound pre-Series A funding round for StreetDrone, which aims to accelerate its delivery robot development. Wilko’s investment will give it a significant stake in the firm.

StreetDrone aims to deploy its driverless delivery robots on UK roads by the end of 2023 and is working with UK and EU authorities to define the standards by which these technologies will be allowed to operate on public roads.

For Wilko this is part of the firm’s drive to develop and strengthen its omnichannel model and to respond to customers’ behaviours.

Jerome Saint-Marc, CEO of Wilko, said, “One of the key reasons why we’re backing the team at StreetDrone is that this sort of transformative technology can have the potential to reduce costs for customers when deployed in the retail sector.

“Autonomous vehicles are the future of automated logistics, and StreetDrone is undoubtedly one of the key players that will lead the way in making this technology viable.”

Mike Potts, StreetDrone founder and CEO, said, “We are delighted to have the support of a major UK retailer. Wilko will help us realize our aim of bringing autonomous last-mile services to UK and European roads, to the benefit of both retailers and consumers.”

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