Wilko has made a £3 million investment in autonomous delivery firm StreetDrone, giving it a significant interest in the company. The investment is part of a wider multi-million pound pre-series A round which will allow StreetDrone to accelerate the development of its autonomous delivery vehicles and systems.
StreetDrone plans to deploy driverless delivery vehicles on the UK’s roads by the end of 2023 and is working with UK- and European-based vehicle safety agencies on defining the standards needed for safe operation in public.
As part of the investment, Jonathan Griffin, director of WilkinsonFuture, will sit on the firm’s board and oversee the investment on behalf of Wilko.
Jerome Saint-Marc, CEO of Wilko, said: “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. It has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and is one of the companies that is putting the UK on the map in developing this type of game-changing technology.
“One of the key reasons why we’re backing the team at StreetDrone is that this sort of transformative technology can have a huge and positive impact for hard-working families – and it’s this ethos that runs through all of our work at Wilko. Ultimately, it has the potential to reduce costs for customers when deployed in the retail sector. We look forward to supporting them on this journey.”
Mike Potts, founder and CEO of StreetDrone, said: “Wilko will help us realise our aim of bringing autonomous last-mile services to UK and European roads, to the benefit of both retailers and consumers. Our technology, aligned with Wilko’s determined strategy to enrich the lives of its customers, is the perfect fusion of our capability and their requirement.”