Locus Robotics, which makes autonomous, cellular robots to be used in e-commerce achievement warehouses, simply introduced $25 million in a Series B spherical.
Locus is one among a rising variety of warehouse robotics suppliers serving to retailers and third-party logistics operators automate present operations with out main retrofits.
The pattern is being pushed by an industry-wide labor scarcity and by the exploding e-commerce market, which is predicted to develop by 20 p.c CAGR to change into a $four trillion international market by 2020, based on Nielson.
“E-commerce fulfillment warehouses are under tremendous pressure to meet increasing demands for fast, accurate order fulfillment in the face of significant labor challenges,” says Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics. “Locus Robotics’s collaborative robots allow warehouse operators to significantly increase worker productivity while economically closing the growing labor gap.”
Of course the opposite issue driving the fast shift towards automation in e-commerce is Amazon. “In an economy largely dominated by Amazon,” continues Faulk, “Locus arms independent operators with the means to compete effectively.”
In 2012, Amazon acquired Kiva, which makes automation options for the logistics . Not lengthy after, you could possibly order mouthwash within the morning and get it the identical afternoon.
The $775 million acquisition, Amazon’s second-biggest on the time, gave the corporate a large aggressive benefit over rivals like Wal-Mart and put it years forward of smaller retailers.
Now a brand new technology of corporations like Fetch Robotics, OTTO Motors, and Locus are bridging the hole with autonomous carts and pickers that may navigate semi-structured environments like warehouses.
“We look for huge markets, burning needs, and compelling and innovative technologies that address those needs,” mentioned Rory O’Driscoll, General Partner at ScaleVP, which invested in Locus. He rightly sees a giant alternative for the sorts of turnkey robots Locus gives, which might be deployed in a single day with out overhauling operations.
“We try to invest just when that innovative technology is ready to jump from an interesting idea that might happen to a core business imperative that is happening right now. For collaborative robotics the time is right now. Robots can work safely with humans, each doing what they do best, to double human productivity and lighten the physical workload in industries like logistics. We anticipate an explosion of this trend in the next few years, and Locus will be at the heart of that trend.”