German-founded Robotics startup raises $22.5 million


Cartken, a robotics navigation software startup originally from Germany, has raised a total of $22.5 million, including a recent $10 million financing round. The company’s autonomous navigation system is designed to operate in diverse environments, addressing the limitations of existing mobile robot solutions that struggle with transitioning between indoor and outdoor settings.

Cartken’s software platform, which is hardware-agnostic, uses low-cost sensors and cameras instead of expensive LIDAR systems. This allows various vehicle types to navigate safely around pedestrians and employees, sharing walkways and interacting with traffic from cars and other vehicles. Since its inception, Cartken has completed hundreds of thousands of deliveries, averaging 36,000 deliveries per month. In 2023, it saved employees over 10,000 hours in transportation time. The company serves major players in the OEM, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and chemical sectors across the United States, Germany, Denmark, and Japan, and is integrated with delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub. Recently, Cartken launched operations in Tokyo, partnering with Uber Eats and Mitsubishi Electric.

“This investment accelerates Cartken’s path towards a future where self-driving technology is ubiquitous across most transport applications,” said Christian Bersch, Co-Founder and CEO of Cartken. “Our mission is to make this new technology accessible to companies across industries, so they can automate their operations, improve productivity, and ensure employee safety.”

The funding round was led by 468 Capital, with participation from Incubate Fund, LDV Partners, and Vela Partners, along with global mobility technology leaders including Magna International, Mitsubishi Electric, Shell Ventures, and Volex. Bernhard Janke and Bardo Droege, partners at 468 Capital, stated, “Cartken’s approach to autonomous navigation systems is set to revolutionize industrial automation and last-mile delivery. We are thrilled to support a team that combines deep technical expertise with a clear vision for the future of autonomous unmanned vehicles for and out of Europe. We believe that Cartken’s approach gives us a clear glimpse into the future.”

With this investment, Cartken aims to expand rapidly into new verticals, driving the future of industrial automation and last-mile delivery.

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