April 22, 2019

Locus Robotics lands $26 million investment for warehouse fulfillment bots

Funding from Zebra Ventures and Scale Venture Partners will drive increased production, Locus says.

By DC Velocity Staff

Warehouse automation provider Locus Robotics will scale up production of its autonomous mobile robots (AMR) after landing $26 million in funding from Zebra Ventures, the investment arm of logistics technology vendor Zebra Technologies Corp.

The "series c" investment also included money from previous backer Scale Venture Partners, and brings Wilmington, Mass.-based Locus's total funding to more than $66 million, the company said today. In addition to ramping up production of its multi-bot solution for warehouse fulfillment, Locus will use the new financing to expand its sales and marketing efforts, both in North America and internationally, the firm said.

Locus' growth surge is a response to market forces such as the rapid growth of the warehouse industry and a tight labor market, which are combining to put pressure on warehouse operators to meet increasing productivity and efficiency demands, Locus CEO Rick Faulk said in a release.

The robotics provider says it addresses those issues by providing fleets of rolling AMRs that operate safely alongside people, helping warehouse pickers to fulfill more orders to handle e-commerce volume growth and seasonal peaks. Locus has recently enhanced its platform by releasing a "Snowy Owl" hardware and software upgrade and by launching support for putaway functionality and product returns.

In its latest move, Locus will also now integrate tools such as a Zebra printer and a Zebra wireless handheld scanner onto its robotic platform, thanks to a new accessory power port built into the AMRs, the firm said.

"Zebra Technologies has a longstanding mission of driving productivity in logistics and the supply chain," Tony Palcheck, managing director of Zebra Ventures, said in a release. "We invest in technologies that will help our customers increase operational efficiency and meet their requirements for on-time delivery. Locus has quickly established itself as a leader in warehouse automation, and the company is a natural fit with our enterprise intelligence vision in the warehouse market."

Zebra Ventures has also made a recent investment in the robotic automation firm Plus One Robotics Inc., a San Antonio startup that says its PickOne Perception System combines hardware and software to address logistics piece-picking applications for the order-fulfillment and parcel-shipping markets.


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