>> On demand delivery startups have promised a future where you can tap your smartphone and have eggs, cookies or prescription drugs arrive at your door. And investors led by big name Silicon Valley venture capital firms like Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins believed, pouring in at least $9 billion into 125 delivery startups in the past decade.
But with many of those companies failing to, well, deliver for investors, VCs are losing faith, Reuters reporter Paul Lienert.>> Many of these startups are still trying to figure out a way to cut costs, possibly by automating part of the delivery process. But as one startup executive points out, it's difficult to deliver a small package from a self driving car.
>> And that could leave early investors with big losses. This year already had some high profile flops, including US meal delivery firm SpoonRocket and PepperTap, an Indian grocery delivering service. Doordash, which brings food to you from your favorite restaurant closed its latest funding round in March, but had to shave off 16% from its valuation.
And making things worse, the giants are also trying their hands at delivery. Uber last year launched UberEats and UberRush. Amazon and DHL are also exploring local on-demand delivery. It's not the first round of casualties in this business. The late 1990s dot com boom bust saw high profile flops of online grocery Webvan and urban delivery firm Cosmo.
And while some hope driverless cars and sidewalk robots can clear the path to success, this time it may be a while before the robots can save the day.