The robotics unit of Postmates, a delivery startup that ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies acquired last year, has spun off into a new company called Serve Robotics, the company said on Tuesday. Serve said in a press release that it closed its first round of funding, led by venture capital firm Neo, and aided by Uber, Long Journey ventures, Postmates' co-founders Bastian Lehmann and Sean Plaice as well as other investors. "While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all," said Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics. The unit, Postmates X, introduced its semi-autonomous bot, Serve, in 2018 to aid faster deliveries. It currently operates commercially in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and has been popular during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable the touch-less delivery of goods. Some details of the deal were published by technology news website TechCrunch in January. Uber bought Postmates in July 2020 in a $2.65 billion all-stock deal, with a view to expand its food delivery market share when the pandemic hit its core ride-sharing business. REUTERS
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