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Amazon Reportedly Acquired Dispatch, an AI Company, in 2017

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Feb. 8 2019, Published 4:04 p.m. ET

Dispatch created Amazon’s delivery robot, Scout

Previously, we discussed how Amazon (AMZN) appears to be striving to handle its own shipping and reduce its reliance on delivery companies. The company has quietly unveiled a delivery robot, Scout, which could eventually help in last-mile delivery. According to TechCrunch, Amazon said that Scout was created by Dispatch, a delivery robot startup Amazon acquired in 2017.

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Amazon’s shipping costs have surged

Amazon didn’t announce the acquisition. As reported by TechCrunch, the e-commerce giant stated in a 10K filing that “during 2017, we also acquired certain other companies for an aggregate purchase price of $204 million.”

Amazon has been expanding its free Prime same-day and one-day shipping across the United States, which requires quick logistics, especially for last-mile delivery. As the graph above shows, Amazon’s shipping costs have surged during this expansion, which may have prompted Amazon to explore taking logistics into its own hands.

Amazon stock has risen 9.2% year-to-date, despite the recent decline that saw Amazon lose its position as the most valuable public company to Apple (AAPL). The stock has risen 14% in the last year.

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