Robotics startup looks to expand e-commerce warehouse automation

August 02, 2018 //By Rich Pell
Robotics startup looks to expand e-commerce warehouse automation
Warehouse automation provider inVia Robotics (Westlake Village, CA) has announced new funding that it says will be used to support expansion in robots deployed and warehouses serviced.

The company, which provides next-generation robotics warehouse automation solutions for e-commerce fulfillment centers, received $20 million in Series B funding led by Point72 Ventures and including investments from Upfront Ventures and Embark Ventures. The funds, says the company, will be used to boost the commercial deployment of its Picker robots and cloud-based Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) management system in warehouses as needed by the scaling e-commerce market.

"To compete with behemoths like Amazon, warehouse automation is critical for e-commerce companies," says Lior Elazary, founder and CEO of inVia Robotics. "But the overhead cost of purchasing a fleet of robots is often beyond reach. We're excited to have this funding to fuel the growth of our subscription-based RaaS technology to optimize warehouse performance and increase productivity for our customers."

The company's Picker robot is designed to work collaboratively alongside human workers to eliminate the need for operators to walk around the warehouse. Such "cobots" allow human workers to concentrate on more complex tasks like picking and quality control, while also minimizing operator exposure to dangerous warehouse operations such as forklifts and heavy lifting.

By automating the storage and retrieval process in this manner, says the company, its technology allows the warehouse to multiply human efforts by up to five times, enabling e-commerce warehouses to handle the tremendous growth in consumer demands. In addition, its subscription-based model is designed to allow companies of any size to implement robotic automation without the traditional high costs.

Daniel Gwak, Co-Head, AI Investments at Point72 Ventures adds, "E-commerce industry growth is driving the need for more warehouse automation to fulfill demand, and AI-driven robots can deliver that automation with the flexibility to scale across varied workflows. Our investment in inVia Robotics reflects our conviction in AI as a key enabler for the supply chain industry."

Currently over 100 Picker robots are being used within warehouses and distribution centers, including those of Rakuten Super Logistics and Hollar. The new


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