Executive Briefings

Robot Makers Fill Their War Chests in Fight Against Amazon

A few years ago, Amazon.com Inc. triggered a robot arms race when it purchased a company called Kiva Systems, maker of automated warehouse robots. Now its would-be rivals are landing bigger and bigger cash injections to try to compete with the e-commerce giant.

Robot Makers Fill Their War Chests in Fight Against Amazon

Locus Robotics, a spinoff of a warehouse company that decided to build its own robots after the Amazon deal in 2012, raised another $25m in venture capital, bringing its total funding to more than $33m, the company recently announced. 

The new cash for Locus followed a $15m injection in July for 6 River Systems Inc., a robotics company founded by ex-Kiva executives. In March, China warehouse robotics startup Geek+, which boasts Alibaba as a client, raised $22m. Competitor RightHand added $8m in venture funding this year as well.

Warehouses are more plentiful than ever, as retailers and logistics companies scramble to add more space in more places. Retailers must get as close to their customers as possible, as shoppers order online more often and demand shorter delivery times.

Builders spent $2.6bn on warehouse construction in September, more than triple what they spent in September 2012. Retailers and logistics companies are experimenting with robot workers in a bid to make these new industrial buildings more productive.

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Locus Robotics, a spinoff of a warehouse company that decided to build its own robots after the Amazon deal in 2012, raised another $25m in venture capital, bringing its total funding to more than $33m, the company recently announced. 

The new cash for Locus followed a $15m injection in July for 6 River Systems Inc., a robotics company founded by ex-Kiva executives. In March, China warehouse robotics startup Geek+, which boasts Alibaba as a client, raised $22m. Competitor RightHand added $8m in venture funding this year as well.

Warehouses are more plentiful than ever, as retailers and logistics companies scramble to add more space in more places. Retailers must get as close to their customers as possible, as shoppers order online more often and demand shorter delivery times.

Builders spent $2.6bn on warehouse construction in September, more than triple what they spent in September 2012. Retailers and logistics companies are experimenting with robot workers in a bid to make these new industrial buildings more productive.

Read Full Article

Robot Makers Fill Their War Chests in Fight Against Amazon