On a Roll: Marble Secures $10 million in Series A Funding
Lemnos portfolio company Marble has announced that it has secured $10 million in Series A funding with participation by Tencent, Crunchfund, Maven, and Lemnos.
Marble, a last-mile logistics company, is creating a fleet of intelligent courier robots to transport goods such as groceries, meals, and medicine using secure-access cargo bays. The goal is to help customers and companies avoid battered packages, unpredictable delivery times, redeliveries, and damaged or lower quality time-sensitive products (such as food).
“Lemnos strongly believes that Marble’s industry-leading autonomy stack, delivery vehicles, and software will unlock tremendously important and valuable use case scenarios for global retailers, enterprises, and logistics providers,” says Lemnos Partner Eric Klein. “Almost three years ago we were excited to be Marble’s first investor, and today we’re equally as excited to join leading VCs in helping Marble continue its journey to revolutionize last-mile logistics.”
Marble founders intend to use the Series A funds to grow their team, open a new office, and expand the company’s pilot operations.
Marble’s autonomous couriers use a hybrid-autonomy system with advanced sensors and high-resolution 3-D city maps to efficiently navigate busy urban environments, including sidewalks, intersections, and obstructions. They can also recognize the difference between people, cars, and animals. The cargo bays are designed to transport specific goods and are swappable, so a warm food cargo bay can be switched for a cold medicine bay.
Management consultancy McKinsey estimates that 80 percent of all package deliveries will be autonomous within the next decade due to the estimated 40 percent cost savings over today’s conventional last-mile delivery.
Marble has expanded deliveries from San Francisco to the East Bay, and plans to roll out the second generation of its autonomous sidewalk-delivery robot this year as it enters new markets across the U.S. in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Through their expanded pilot programs, Marble hopes to expand its reliable, cost-effective short-distance deliveries into new markets, including groceries, pharmacy, retail, and more.
Marble co-founder and hardware lead Jason Calaiaro notes that Lemnos was “one of our loudest champions.” He says, “In the course of developing a company every day there is a fork in the road that may have 100 paths. It helps to know which are worth going down in terms of customer selection, how to develop your technology, and recruiting. Lemnos helped us make better, more informed decisions.”
In the past year, Marble has doubled their team to include roboticists who come out of labs at Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, and have experience at Apple, SpaceX, Amazon, Velodyne, and Nvidia. The company also hired DC policy advisors specializing in transportation policy development and shared mobility strategies to lead the conversation with city legislation and community groups on robot safety and city guidelines.
If you are interested in joining Marble, they are currently hiring for a variety of positions. And to learn more about Marble, its origins, and lessons learned, listen to Season 2 Episode 10 of Lemnos’ podcast, “Into the Forge”, which features an interview with Marble’s Matt Delaney, co founder and CEO, Kevin Peterson, co-founder and software lead, and Jason Calaiaro, co-founder and hardware lead.