Kiwibot, which makes rover delivery robots, officially announced its equity crowdfunding campaign today, with the goal of raising a little more than $1 million via Wefunder.
As of this writing, the company had raised more than $150,000 of that goal (the company raised $148,000 before officially launching). Those interested, can invest a minimum of $100 in the company. (I’m not a financial advisor, all investments have associated risks, caveat emptor, and all that.)
Kiwibot’s financing move comes just weeks after the company rolled out its delivery robots on the streets of San Jose, CA. The company partnered with the City of San Jose, integrating with its municipal software systems to help better manage the fleet of robots and alleviate any hiccups that might occur (like a bot getting stuck on a street corner or something).
Indeed, Kiwibot lists regulatory hurdles as a risk for potential investors, saying:
Due to the actions of some of our competitors, delivery bots have proved controversial in some regulatory environments with some cities, like San Francisco, putting out laws that make it difficult for us to deploy. If this became widespread we would have trouble going to market.
As part of its filings on the WeFunder site, Kiwibot also published its finanials. The company says it generated more than $279,302 in 2019, with losses of -$2,621,693 during that year. Kiwibot says it has $232,562 in cash. According to Crunchbase, Kiwibot has previously raised $3.5 million in funding.
Equity crowdfunding has become a popular option for robotics companies. Miso Robotics, Small Robot and Piestro are all robotics companies that have run equity crowdfunding campaigns this year (both Small Robot and Piestro have met their goals).
Kiwibot’s timing with equity crowdfunding could be fortuitous. Delivery robots like Kiwi’s could be playing more of starring role in how people get their meals as restaurants and consumers look to reduce human-to-human contact. Robots don’t get sick and don’t cough all over your food.
The question now is whether Kiwi’s funding case is compelling enough for the crowd to deliver.