Gideon Brothers, which has been developing mobile robots using artificial intelligence and 3D vision, yesterday announced that it has raised $31 million in Series A funding. The Zagreb, Croatia-based company said it plans to use the investment to accelerate development and commercialization of its materials handling systems and expand its operations with new offices in Munich, Germany, and Boston.
“The pandemic has greatly accelerated the adoption of smart automation, and we are ready to meet the unprecedented market demand,” stated Matija Kopić, co-founder and CEO of Gideon Brothers. “The best way to do it is by marrying our proprietary solutions with the largest, most demanding customers out there.”
“Our strategic partners have real challenges that our robots are already solving, and, with us, they're seizing the incredible opportunity right now to effect robotic-powered change to some of the world's most innovative organizations,” he added.
Gideon Brothers addresses supply chain needs
The global market for mobile robots will grow to $158.6 billion by 2030, according to ABI Research There will be more than 15 million autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in the world by then, and some type of visual perception will power 90% of those machines, said Gideon Brothers.
AMRs can make processes and workflows more efficient and productive, the startup said. This is typically achieved by performing non-value added tasks—such as transporting, picking up, and dropping off products—in order to free up laborers to perform other tasks that add value to the operation.
Gideon Brothers said that with its technology, ” a true collaboration between robots and people is now finally possible—unlocking the hidden potential of the world's material handling operations.”
The company said it specializes in the flexible automation of horizontal and vertical materials handling processes for logistics, warehousing, manufacturing, and retail businesses. Gideon Brothers said its AMRs and software for outdoor and indoor operations can help supply chains solve their most complex challenges: rising customer expectations, increased product variability and logistics volumes, growing variety of distribution channels, and labor shortages.
Source: Gideon Brothers
Investors recognize AMR potential
Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), the venture and growth arm of Koch Industries Inc., led Gideon Brothers' Series A round, with participation from DB Schenker, Prologis Ventures, and Rite-Hite. Several of Gideon Brothers' existing shareholders also participated, including Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of TransferWise), Pentland Ventures, Peaksjah, HCVC (Hardware Club), Ivan Topčić, Nenad Bakić, and Luca Ascani.
Gideon Brothers plans to expand its board of directors with two industry veterans: Annant Patel, director at KDT, and Xavier Garijo, member of the board of management for contract logistics at DB Schenker.
“With more than 300 Koch operations and production units globally, KDT recognizes the unique capabilities of and potential for Gideon Brothers' technology to substantially transform how businesses can approach warehouse and manufacturing processes through cutting edge AI and 3D AMR technology,” said Patel. “Gideon's vision to enhance current industrial warehouse and manufacturing operations through close collaboration between humans and their robotic assistants, while automating complex manual processes to make work safer and more efficient, presents a shift in an industry ready for disruption.”
“Our partnership with Gideon Brothers secures our access to best-in-class robotics and intelligent material handling solutions to serve our customers in the most efficient way,” said Garijo. “Our collaboration to date with Gideon Brothers has demonstrated real use cases in inbound and outbound processes within the warehouse environment, we also see wider applications and are excited at what this technology affords us in creating the 'Warehouse of the Future' for our customers.”
Putting Croatia on the robotics map
“Over four years ago, we started working on the next generation of autonomous mobile robots – in a country known for its beaches,” said Gideon Brothers in a blog post. “Many thought we should just stick to beaches.”
Matija Kopić, CEO, Gideon Brothers
“Instead, we threw ourselves at building robots that can see and understand their environment as we humans do,” the company said. “That’s why we want to give the biggest shout-out to our incredible team, who made all this possible. They’ve persevered through thick and thin in these past few years to help us arrive at where we are right now: being privileged to work with some of the largest customers worldwide to automate their most complex material handling operations. And, at the same time, putting Croatia on the world map of robotics and AI/machine learning.”
“Partnering with these forward-thinking industry leaders will help us expand our global footprint, but we will always stay true to our Croatian roots,” said Kopić. “That is our superpower. The Croatian start-up scene is growing exponentially – already boasting two unicorns – and we want to unlock further opportunities for our country to become a robotics and AI powerhouse.”
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