A number of publications have reported that San Francisco’s on-demand delivery platform Postmates has set up shop in Vancouver.
Techcouver can confirm that Postmates is indeed actively working and recruiting in Vancouver, specifically for their R&D branch creatively labelled Postmates X.
Founded in 2011, Postmates serves over 3,500 cities across the United States and is on track to IPO later this year with a valuation over $2 billion.
Postmates X has been tasked with solving real-world problems with machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. And they’re doing that with a personable sidewalk delivery robot called Serve (a link worth clicking).
Serve is designed to take deliveries away from congested streets and onto under-utilized alleys and sidewalks, to save energy, reduce emissions, reduce traffic, and make deliveries faster and cheaper.
As Postmates says, Why move two-pound burritos with two-ton cars?
Serve has been years in the making and has already done thousands of customer deliveries.
But why is Postmates X in Vancouver? Will we be seeing Serve on our sidewalks soon?
Not likely. Company spokesperson April Conyers told The Logic earlier this summer that Postmates chose Vancouver for its talent pool. Conyers also cited the city’s proximity to “world-class universities” like the University of British Columbia (UBC).
That UBC connection sounds about right though. Ali Kashani heads up Postmates X and he graduated from UBC with a PhD in Robotics and Computer Vision in 2012.
Kashani founded a residential electricity monitoring startup named Neurio, which was acquired in 2015. Not long after that Kashani founded a startup named Lox which was quietly acquired by Postmates in 2017.
Postmates is currently looking for a computer vision scientist, a machine learning engineer, a robotics software engineer, and various other roles to join its Vancouver office.