With 80% of distribution centers around the world still operating manually, according to Honeywell Intelligrated, there is still plenty of room for automation. Rapyuta Robotics Co., which has developed collaborative pick-assist robots and cloud-based software for warehouses, yesterday said it has raised JPY 6.4 billion ($51 million U.S.) in Series C funding. The Tokyo-based company said it plans to use the financing to grow its staff and presence in the logistics market.
“Rapyuta Robotics will further its mission to make robots more attainable to global logistics users and to empower lives with new cloud robotics solutions,“ said Gajan Mohanarajah, Ph.D, co-founder, and CEO of Rapyuta. “We are grateful to Goldman Sachs and all our investors for their support of our vision to make robots more accessible by taking a platform approach.”
Rapyuta spun out of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), where its founders worked on the RoboEarth and Cubli projects. The company said it wants to make robots more accessible by taking an open, platform-centric approach to developing and operating its systems.
Rapyuta takes open, cloud-based approach
Rapyuta Robotics said it provides support for the development, implementation, and operation of robots for logistics applications. The company added that it has the largest market share in Japan, where automation addresses the problems of an aging population, a low birth rate, and chronic labor shortages.
Rapyuta described the PA-AMR as a flexible and collaborative autonomous mobile robot (AMR). ALICIA is the company's open-source framework for multi-robot coordination and control. Rapyuta has also patented technologies for motion planning, cloud-based robotics development, perception, and simulation.
The company said its rapyuta.io cloud platform uses advanced control and artificial intelligence technologies “to improve the efficiency and safety of warehouse operations, enable multiple robots to work harmoniously together, and create a seamless, and remote-controlled robot ecosystem.”
Rapyuta claimed that logistics companies that have used its robotic picking assistant have doubled productivity in their operations within five months.
Goldman Sachs leads round
Goldman Sachs led Rapyuta's Series C round, which brings its total capital raised to JPY 10 Billion ($81 million).
“While the global logistics industry is rapidly expanding due to rising e-commerce demand, it faces a wave of digitization and a challenge of labor shortage,” ,” said Stephanie Hui, global co-head of Growth Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. “As the industry seeks for automation solutions to improve efficiency, we are optimistic about the growth of Rapyuta Robotics as a pioneer in cloud robotics platforms.”
Rapyuta PA-AMRs. Source: Rapyuta Robotics
Goldman Sachs Asset Management has been an active investor in Japan since 1999, deploying capital across sectors such as technology, consumer, healthcare, and renewable energy. It is part of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which was founded in 1869.
The New York-based firm maintains offices in financial centers around the world. Since 2003, the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management has included more than 75 people who have invested over $13 billion in innovative companies.
Rapyuta plans for progress
Rapyuta said it plans to earmark the funds raised expanded development of the Rapyuta PA-AMR, partner training, research and development, and increasing awareness of AMRs in the logistics industry.
In addition, the company is now hiring with the intent of expanding its diverse staff of talented engineers and sales professionals from more than 20 countries. It has facilities in Tokyo and Bengaluru, India, and Rapyuta is also looking for partners.
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