Logistics technology startup CognitOps plans to accelerate development of its artificial intelligence (AI)-based warehouse management software platform after receiving a $3 million venture capital investment, the company said today.
Chicago Ventures led the investment round, with additional participation from Schematic Ventures, CEAS Investments, and Churton Ventures. The money follows a $3 million seed round completed in 2019.
Austin, Texas-based CognitOps says its software models and automates warehouse management, acting as a “warehouse operating system” that can manage the proliferation of supply chain platforms like robotics and automation.
“Current market conditions have supply chains under duress,” Chicago Ventures Principal Peter Christman said in a release. “CognitOps is helping enterprises adapt by unlocking hidden efficiency and capacity in their warehouse operations. We’re excited to support the CognitOps team’s vision for automating warehouse management.”
Backed by the new capital, the firm will invest in product expansion and accelerate go-to-market efforts to take advantage of strong market demand, the company said. According to CognitOps, its platform empowers warehouse operators to manage complexity, reduce cost, and improve cycle time. Those are critical skills as the firm’s customers compete through the Covid-19 impact and the incredible pace of change in their supply chains, CognitOps said.
CognitOps was founded in 2018 by Alex Ramirez and Reas Macken, former executives from the system integrator Dematic—now a unit of the German material handling giant Kion Group AG—and warehouse execution system (WES) vendor ReddWerks—which was itself acquired by Dematic in 2015.
The partners quickly realized that most WES platforms already struggled to combine various warehouse automation products into a smooth workflow, and that the problem would only get worse as the market sees an explosion of new technologies. That problem is further compounded for the large number of DCs that attempt to integrate those different systems using simple tools like Excel and Tableau spreadsheets or Access databases, Ramirez said.
In response, CognitOps says is not setting out to compete with the tier-one warehouse management system (WMS) or WES products used by enterprise firms, but rather to effectively replace Excel by sitting on top of those other systems and applying machine learning and digital twin technologies to process the data and create prescriptive analytics that provide users with plain text advice on how to streamline operations.
“Warehouses were already getting too complex with the proliferation of point solutions and omnichannel demands, but Covid-19 has forced our customers to adapt faster than they ever thought was possible,” company CEO Ramirez said in a release. “Our solution is purposefully built to quickly plug into any warehouse and dramatically enable better operations from day one.”