Technology

Underground delivery startup Pipedream raises $13M

The company will use some of the funding to meet demand for its restaurant pickup system, which uses tunnels to move food from the kitchen to the parking lot.
Pipedream robot
Pipedream's long-term goal is to connect entire cities via underground delivery. | Photo courtesy of Pipedream

Pipedream, a startup that uses underground tunnels to move food and other goods, has raised $13 million to accelerate its efforts.

The company will use some of the funds to help meet demand for its automated pickup system for restaurants. Instant Pickup uses a robotic cart on an underground track to deliver meals from the kitchen to customers parked outside. It’s intended to shorten wait times and free up employees.

Pipedream currently has more than 100 preorders for that system, founder Garrett McCurrach wrote in a LinkedIn post Tuesday, and the funding will help it fulfill them “as quickly as possible.” Wendy’s is among the brands that plan to install Pipedream at an existing location this year.

[To learn more about Pipedream, read our profile: Pipedream wants to take restaurant pickup underground.]

Austin, Texas-based Pipedream will also use the capital to pursue its more ambitious goal of connecting entire cities with underground delivery networks. It has been testing longer deliveries in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, where it has connected an office building to a retail store via a 0.7-mile tunnel. This year, it will choose a city to begin building a larger-scale underground network that it expects to be up and running by next spring.

Pipedream's vision of “hyperlogistics” will allow people to have things delivered to their homes or offices in under 10 minutes and for less than a dollar, while also easing congestion on the streets above. Its goal is to make that a reality within the decade.

The funding round was led by Starship Ventures with participation from Cortado Ventures, Myelin Ventures and other angel investors and firms.

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