Over the past two years, the boom in online shopping and labor challenges have increased demand for automated order fulfillment. Photoneo s.r.o. today announced $21 million in Series B funding. The Bratislava, Slovakia-based company said it plans to use its latest capital to accelerate its 3D sensor business and expand its Brightpick system for warehouses and so-called dark stores.
“We identified a gap in the order-fulfillment sector,” said Jan Zizka, co-founder and CEO of Photoneo. “We combined our unique technologies to develop a first-of-its-kind, end-to-end solution for fully automated fulfillment centers.”
“The potential of this next-gen warehouse automation technology is immense as it is highly flexible and scalable, maximizing throughput with minimum effort,” he said. “It helps optimize processes, save space, and increase efficiency by three to five times compared to manual labor.”
Founded in 2013, Photoneo stated that its goal is “to automate monotonous and risky tasks by deploying vision-guided robots.” The company claimed that it has developed “the world's highest-resolution and highest-accuracy 3D camera” as well as software to improve the performance of manufacturing, fulfillment, and assembly processes.
Photoneo announces Brightpick logistics unit
Photoneo said its 3D sensing technology, machine vision systems, and end-to-end support make fully automated fulfillment available and affordable for customers worldwide. By giving robots “eyes” and a “brain” to understand their environments, it said it can help companies in the automotive, logistics, e-commerce, food, and medical industries.
In addition, Photoneo announced a new logistics business unit around Brightpick, which supports warehouses and grocers through autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and artificial intelligence-powered robotic picking. The company said Brightpick's modular structure can be tailored for a range of uses, from nano to central fulfillment centers.
Photoneo credited its futuristic vision and successful pilot integrations of Brightpick for attracting investors in “one of the largest investments into an automation startup in Europe.”
“We are happy that our disruptive technologies and ability to spot market potential at the right time— and forecast its future developments—earned the trust of our investors, convincing them that Photoneo is primed to lead the next-generation automation of order fulfillment,” said Zizka.
Investors recognize robotics vision
IPM Group, a global asset manager focusing on technology companies, led Photoneo's Series B round. Other investors included Venture to Future Fund, Earlybird, AI Capital, and Credo Ventures, as well as all investors who participated in previous investment rounds.
“Photoneo’s work and achievements are truly impressive,” said Marian Bocek, managing partner at IPM Group. “We believe in the company’s power to enhance logistics and transform the automation of e-commerce processes with its groundbreaking and much-needed solutions.”
“Photoneo is already a well-established leader of smart automation solutions powered by original machine vision technology and artificial intelligence, and supporting the company at this stage means helping them embrace the future of automation completely and on all fronts,” he added.
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