Serve Robotics raises $40M with IPO to expand Uber Eats deliveries

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a Serve mobile robot crosses the street on a crosswalk.

Serve Robotics mobile robots maneuver on the sidewalk to make local deliveries. | Credit: Serve Robotics

Serve Robotics Inc. went public on the Nasdaq yesterday under the symbol “SERV,” opening at $4.75 and closing the day at $3.11. It said it expected its initial public offering of 10 million shares of common stock to generate $40 million in gross proceeds, before underwriting discounts and offering expenses.

“Serve’s transition to a publicly traded entity marks an important moment in the robotics landscape, showcasing our role as one of the first to commercially deploy AI-powered robots in urban settings,” stated Dr. Ali Kashani, Serve’s co-founder and CEO. “With the backing of strategic partners, including Uber and NVIDIA, we believe Serve is at the forefront of delivering sustainable last-mile automation at an unprecedented scale.”

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Serve Robotics continues partnership with Uber Eats

Serve Robotics builds and maintains its fleet of robots for customers as a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) business. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company currently has about 100 robots in its fleet and plans to expand that fleet. 

In 2021, Serve Robotics spun out of Uber, and it has maintained an operating contract with Uber Eats for local delivery in select locations.  Other big customers have included Walmart and 7-Eleven.

“Our entry into the public markets will fuel our plans to roll out up to 2,000 robots on the Uber Eats platform in multiple U.S. markets under our existing agreements,” Kashani said. “We look forward to executing on our business plan and to our growth as a public entity.”

Serve said that with the latest funding round, it will deliver with Uber Eats in new cities including Vancouver, San Diego, and Dallas. In addition, it plans to hire additional resources to operate the fleets in the new cities.

In February 2024, Serve entered into a strategic partnership with Magna New Mobility USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Magna International Inc., under which Serve grants Magna a non-exclusive license to its technology in support of Magna’s autonomous mobile robot (AMR) projects.

Nasdaq listing completes an alternative public offering

Serve’s largest stakeholder and strategic partner, Postmates LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber Technologies Inc., participated in the offering.

Serve was previously listed on the OTCQB Venture Market under the ticker symbol “SBOT” and will no longer trade on that market. However, this was all part of a multi-stage alternative public offering (APO) that started in August 2023, when Serve Robotics raised $30M through a reverse merger with Patricia Acquisition Corp. Serve became a wholly owned subsidiary of Patricia.

The OTCQB offering period was an interim step required for the APO process. APOs can take anywhere from three to six months to complete.

With the public offering, the company has raised a total of $93 million in funding over six rounds, according to Crunchbase.

Competitor Starship Technologies raised $90 million in a funding round in February. The market for delivery robots is dynamic, including other companies that have developed and deployed outdoor delivery robots including Cartken and Ottonomy.

Serve Robotics said it intends to use the net proceeds from its IPO for research and development of future iterations of its robots, manufacturing operations, growth into new regions, working capital, and other general company needs.

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