Founders of OttonomyIO - Hardik Sharma, Ashish Gupta, Ritukar Vijay and Pradyot Korupolu
Most of us have read about or seen videos of robots running along sidewalks, sometimes even on roads, on their way to deliver orders to consumers. Although we are in the early stages of this phenomenon, the day when we place an order and it is delivered by a robot as a norm, is not far. Apart from being a technological marvel, delivery robots have a significant business value. Demand for online ordering has increased (the global online food delivery services market size is expected to grow from $115 B in 2021 to $128 B in 20221) while on the supply side, labor shortages have shot up (example: 5.5 million more job openings than there are workers available to fill them, according to the US Labor Department). Last mile delivery is the most expensive part of the delivery chain (sometimes upto 50%), impacting unit economics of each package that is delivered. These factors are driving automation of the delivery step.
At pi Ventures, we believe that Robotics is going to move from automation to cognition in the coming years. While historically the focus has been on building robots for repeating the same task in a purpose built way, the robots of the future will have human-like capability like natural navigation and haptic capability. And this transformation will require significant technological advancements across AI, sensors and material science. Read more about our thesis in our Deeptech Shifts 2026 report here.
Ottonomy falls in the natural navigation segment, with its robots “Ottobots” capable of fully autonomous navigation in unstructured environments like sidewalk, curbside, campuses and airports. The uncontrolled nature of these setups makes building autonomous robots much more challenging.
What makes Ottobot special is that it is fully autonomous and capable of seamless indoor as well as outdoor navigation. This opens up multiple use cases across sidewalk, curbside and indoor delivery. Most delivery robot players have either outdoor navigation or indoor navigation capability and have a heavy reliance on humans. Ottobot is powered by an advanced autonomy stack that gives human-like vision and perception based on sensor fusion and Deep learning algorithms resulting in quicker and dynamic mapping, contextual mobility and real time collision detection and avoidance, with low latency. Compared to some of the other sidewalk robots, Ottobots have higher payload capacity, better maneuverability and have configurable payload, thanks to the modular structure of the robot.
The team behind Ottonomy - Ritukar, Pradyot, Hardik and Ashish bring years of robotics and autonomous driving experience, having worked in leading robotics companies across hardware, engineering, product, software as well as business development. This wealth of experience reflects in the state of the art robot that they have built. Apart from their tech and execution capabilities, we have been impressed by their focus on global markets from day one and how they are successfully competing with global players now. Ottonomy is currently working with top names in retail & restaurants and has been able to demonstrate 50% cost reduction for its clients.
We are excited to make our first investment in robotics and while this is our first, we are actively looking for companies building dynamic robots with human-like capabilities for strong business use cases.