August 1, 2018

InVia raises $20 million for warehouse robots

inVia raises $20 million for warehouse robots

Picker bots create AS/RS for material handling in e-commerce fulfillment, firm says.

By DC Velocity Staff


Material handling robotWarehouse robotics startup inVia Robotics Inc. today said it had raised $20 million in venture funding and would use the money to expand the number of robots it deploys to warehouses for e-commerce fulfillment tasks.

The new capital round was led by Stamford, Conn.-based venture capital firmPoint72 Ventures LLC, with additional participation from Upfront Ventures and Embark Ventures, and brings Los Angeles-based inVia to a total of $29 million raised to date, the firm said.

Invia will spend the capital on boosting the commercial deployment of its Picker robots and its cloud-based robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) management system in warehouses that are struggling to keep up with the fulfillment demands of the soaring e-commerce market, the firm said. The company's subscription-based model allows logistics customers to afford the warehouse automation technology that is necessary to compete with behemoths like Amazon.com Inc., inVia Founder and CEO Lior Elazary said in a statement.

inVia Picker bot

Companies deploy fleets of inVia's mobile Picker bots to create automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) that eliminate the need for their human employees to walk around the warehouse, the company claims. Instead, DC laborers work collaboratively with the robots, while concentrating on complex tasks like picking and quality control and avoiding dangerous jobs that involve forklifts and heavy lifting, according to inVia.

InVia says that more than 100 Picker bots are currently being used in U.S. distribution centers for companies including the Commerce, Calif.-based online marketplace Hollar and Las Vegas-based Rakuten Super Logistics, the American affiliate of Rakuten Inc., the Japanese firm that calls itself the third largest e-commerce marketplace company worldwide.
 
Editor's note: This article was revised on Aug. 2 for clarity.

inVia walk through at Hollar from inVia Robotics on Vimeo.

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