UPDATE: Some details of this story changed after we published this story:
- The service is now launching in October.
- The delivery fee will start at $2.50, or it will be free with a monthly subscription.
- Delivery will be available from a total of three restaurants.
Original post follows:
Kiwibot announced today that it has partnered with foodservice company Sodexo to bring robot food delivery to students, faculty and staff at the University of Denver.
Starting today, a fleet of 15 Kiwibots will be available to deliver food from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m and 6 p.m., with deliveries costing a flat $2.50 per order. Delivery will start with one campus restaurant before expanding to four more food options by mid-October. Kiwibot is also working with the city of Denver to enable off-campus deliveries at some point in October, as well.
There are a few things worth noting about this deal. First, this is Kiwi’s second bite at the apple when it comes to college delivery. Last year, the company delivered to UC Berkeley and had big plans to expand to a number of different schools across the U.S. Those plans never came to fruition, however and were abandoned. One reason that growth might not have happened last year was that Kiwibot was going through student groups, and not partnering with a school’s administration.
This time around, Kiwibot has partnered with Sodexo, a huge company that provides foodservice to colleges across the U.S. This partnership brings with it more legitimacy for Kiwibot, and also provides an entrée, so to speak, with college administrations and restaurants at potential campuses.
That Kiwibot has partnered with Sodexo is in itself interesting because Sodexo has an existing partnership with Kiwi rival, Starship, for robot deliveries on various colleges like George Mason University. The difference, however, is that Starship’s program requires users to download the Starship app. Kiwibot’s solution is more of a B2B play, and will integrate with a food ordering app from Sodexo. So it could provide Kiwibot with direct access to a greater number of Sodexo-run properties, should the partnership grow.
Kiwibot have been on a bit of a, err, roll lately. In July the company launched a restaurant delivery program in the city of San Jose, CA. Kiwibot is also in the middle of an equity crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise $1 million.