As supply chains add more automation, mobile robot providers continue to scale up to meet the demand. Vecna Robotics today announced that it has raised $65 million in Series C funding. The Waltham, Mass.-based company said it will use its latest financing to develop new software and robots, as well as fulfill new orders and expand operations. It noted that the market opportunity for autonomous pallet moving is $165 billion.
“There is huge headroom for growth in automated material handling with over 5 billion pallets in the world being moved by more than 5 million forklifts and nearly 5 million manual operators,” said Craig Malloy, CEO of Vecna Robotics. “This investment, led by such a prominent and supportive group of investors, will allow us to accelerate our roadmap and deliver solutions to the market faster in order to meet the insatiable demand for increased throughput in material handling environments like factories and warehouses.”
Vecna speeds up AMRs, hires execs
Vecna Robotics provides autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and software for flexible material handling. The company's self-driving fork trucks, pallet trucks, and pallets work with its proprietary Pivotal orchestration software and 24/7/365 command center. Vecna said its automation can help organizations automate critical workflows, maximize throughput, and quickly scale operations.
In September, Vecna Robotics announced its Mark 3 software release, enabling its AMRs to move up to 6.7 mph (10.7 kph), nearly doubling throughput capacity.
Leading up to this funding round, the company hired Craig Malloy as CEO, appointed founder and previous CEO Daniel Theobald as chief innovation officer, and added Josh Kivenko as chief marketing officer.
Vecna said all three executives bring a diverse set of skills and technology experience, helping it meet the growing demand for robots and orchestration to make supply chains worldwide more resilient.
Investors look to supply chain shift
Tiger Global Management led Vecna Robotics' Series C round, with additional funding from new investors Lineage Logistics, Proficio Capital Partners, and IMPULSE. The company's existing investors include Blackhorn Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Tectonic Ventures, Drive Capital, and Fontinalis Partners.
“Shifts in the labor market are accelerating the need for automation throughout the global supply chain,” said Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global. “Vecna Robotics is very well-positioned to help companies in warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution meet this challenge head on with truly intelligent automation for pallet-sized loads.”
“Medium- to large-sized warehouse and manufacturing facilities are experiencing an undeniable shift in the ways that they manage critical workflows in response to labor shortages and demand spikes,” said Adam Forste, co-executive chairman of Lineage Logistics.
“As an organization steadfastly committed to innovation, we are thrilled to support Vecna Robotics’ mission to intelligently automate how companies in warehousing and manufacturing respond to today’s most important supply chain challenges, focusing on employee safety and improving overall efficiency of material handling operations and throughput,” he added.
Vecna Robotics to continue growth
Vecna said it will use its Series C funding to further develop support for “end-to-end automated material handling workflows.” The company also plans to further develop its Pivotal proprietary orchestration engine to enable better integration with existing warehouse management systems (WMS), as well as third-party automation.
As a founding member of the MassRobotics consortium, Vecna has also participated in its development and demonstration of an AMR interoperability standard.
“We continue to expand our relationship with Vecna Robotics across multiple facilities and workflows because of its innovative approach to solving real-world material handling challenges,” said Andy Johnston, senior director of innovation for the Americas at GEODIS.
“For us, the magic of Vecna Robotics’ technology is about maximizing our throughput and efficiency — especially during continued industry-wide challenges,” he said. “As Vecna Robotics further expands its operational capacity and innovation with its latest funding round, that will help us continue to exceed our customers’ expectations for many years to come.”
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