inVia Robotics Inc. today announced that it has secured $30 million in Series C funding from M12, Microsoft Corp.'s venture fund, as well as Qualcomm Ventures LLC, Hitachi Ventures, and existing investors. The Westlake, Calif.-based company provides artificial intelligence and autonomous mobile robots as a service to improve warehouse throughput and workforce efficiency.
“We are proud and honored to have earned the confidence from these industry-leading investors who are equally as committed to the progression of automation within the supply chain as we are,” said Lior Elazary, co-founder and CEO of inVia. “We have intentionally aligned ourselves in the best interest of our customers and their businesses, finding ways to not only optimize productivity, but also further inVia Robotics’ global reach.”
inVia revenue grows sixfold
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased adoption of optimization technologies for order fulfillment. In the U.S. alone, e-commerce experienced 44% year-over-year growth, requiring online retailers and logistics providers to keep up with record shopping demand. Last year, inVia Robotics reported that its revenue grew by 600%.
The company said its platform programmatically digitizes every logistics workflow, using AI to continually optimize machines and people. The inVia Logic software orchestrates the most efficient movement of goods across a warehouse using proprietary algorithms to efficiently assign and balance tasks, said inVia.
inVia claimed that its Picker goods-to-person autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) offer the highest throughput per person in the industry. The complete system can be integrated into existing operations or new facilities and deliver flexibility and scalability for unprecedented returns on investment (ROI), the company said. These include a 4X to 5X increase in productivity and accuracy rates of 99.9% at a fraction of a cost of traditional automation.
inVia offers its automation services to e-commerce and third-party logistics (3PL) businesses through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model. Subscriptions allow companies of any size to quickly deploy and scale AMR fleets as needed without disrupting existing operations, according to the company. This eliminates the costs of leasing and maintaining equipment, it said.
Investors share expertise
inVia Robotics' Series C brings the company's total investment to $59 million from investors including Point 72, Upfront, and Embark. The company said it will use its latest funding to extend its product’s reach and operational support in North America.
The funding will also drive market expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In addition, inVia said it will use the capital to align strategic supply chain partners to open new channels and deliver end-to-end logistics solutions.
inVia plans to use the Qualcomm Robotics RB5, described as “the world's first” 5G and AI-enabled robotics platform to accelerate development of power-efficient, high-computing robots and drones.
“Global e-commerce adoption is experiencing exponential growth, resulting in the need for robust warehouse optimization solutions,” said Quinn Li, senior vice president of Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and global head of Qualcomm Ventures. “inVia’s AI-powered warehouse automation solutions help improve warehouse throughput and workflow efficiency. We look forward to supporting inVia in accelerating warehouse digitization with AI and 5G through our investment.”
“inVia’s integrated solution––with software and AI at the core––enables warehouse managers to take advantage of operational and cost efficiencies that have historically only been available to large enterprises,” added James Wu, principal at M12. ”Now, inVia’s prebuilt integrations with warehouse management systems are making scalable customization accessible to companies of all sizes.”
New investor Hitachi Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Hitachi Ltd., will bring extensive experience in industrial automation across other verticals as inVia scales, said the company.
“The Hitachi brand is synonymous with leading-edge technology that connects and amplifies the advances in AI-powered software and automation hardware,” inVia said. “They share inVia’s vision of optimizing operations in every warehouse by maximizing efficiencies across all processes through digitization.”
About the Author
Eugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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