January 10, 2020

Vecna Robotics to accelerate new product development with latest funding round

Firm will use $50 million venture capital funds to meet double-digit annual growth forecast for the mobile robot market.

By DC Velocity Staff

Autonomous material handling technology vendor Vecna Robotics plans to expand its footprint and accelerate the development of new product offerings over the next five years thanks to a $50 million venture capital round it landed on Tuesday, the company said.

That plan will allow the Waltham, Massachusetts-based firm to meet a double-digit annual growth forecast for the mobile robot market by supplying its range of workflow orchestration and self-driving forklift tools, the company said.

The "series B" funding round was led by Blackhorn Ventures, with participation from new investors Highland Capital and Fontinalis Partners, and additional funding from existing investors Drive Capital and Tectonic Ventures. With the news, Trevor Zimmerman of Blackhorn Ventures and Bob Davis of Highland Capital will join Vecna Robotics' board of directors.

The new cash follows an investment of unspecified size in 2018 that allowed Vecna Robotics to spin off from parent company Vecna Technologies and re-launch itself as a standalone business unit. Since then, the company has built integrations with other logistics technology providers such as piece picking platform provider Righthand Robotics Inc. and lift truck vendor UniCarriers Americas (UCA). Together, those technologies can help users stay fully staffed in a historically tight labor market by using robotics to boost warehouse employees' engagement and productivity, the company said.

Vecna Robotics' solutions focus on maximizing workflow efficiency with fully autonomous pallet trucks and tow tractors combined with PivotalTM, the firm's artificial intelligence (AI)-based orchestration agent. More than a fleet manager, PivotaI also interfaces with human workers and other equipment to increase job satisfaction, optimize freight capacity, increase warehouse capacity, and help eliminate waste, the company said.

"We're thrilled to have Blackhorn, Highland and Fontinalis share our vision for the future of the material handling industry," Vecna Robotics Founder and CEO Daniel Theobald said in a release. "A highly orchestrated solution that leverages the best of robots, manually-operated equipment and the irreplaceable human factor is the key to long-term success for our customers."

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