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France-based warehouse robotics startup Exotec Solutions has raised $17.7 million in a Series B funding round, reports TechCrunch. The round includes investments from new investor Iris Capital as well as previous funding partners 360 Capital Partners and Breega. The company plans to use the money to build and sell 1,000 of its robotic systems by the end of 2019.
Exotec’s primary product is a warehouse robotic system called “Skypod” that is largely intended for e-commerce companies. The robots are able to automatically gather goods that are stored in a warehouse, similar to Amazon’s Kiva robots. However, Exotec is looking to differentiate itself by expanding robotic retrieval vertically, with automated units using racks to move themselves up and down to grab packages and crates from elevated positions.
The startup is looking to leverage its flexible, space-efficient system to take advantage of a number of key trends in the rapidly growing logistics robot space:
E-commerce sales continue to rise.The increase in demand for e-commerce products — global e-commerce sales will reach $5.7 trillion in 2023, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates — has led to a rapid growth in total warehouse space as companies try to organize their products and meet consumer expectations for free and fast delivery. This is leading to growing shipping and warehousing costs for these e-commerce sellers and their partners.
Companies are turning to logistics and warehouse robotics systems to limit these costs. Business Insider Intelligence projects that the global installed base for these systems will surpass 600,000 by 2023, rising from 100,000 now. Robots can be a key addition to a warehouse in that they’re able to quickly respond to a purchase order and start the shipping process. And allowing companies to easily expand their warehouse space vertically rather than horizontally means they can take up less space and potentially be placed closer to shipping terminals. The addition of new funding to a flexible and space-efficient solution could put Exotec in a position to take advantage of the growth of this market.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Tech