Venture Capital: Locus Robotics Turns Unicorn With $150M Series E Round
Warehouse robots tackle exploding eCommerce volumes and severe labor shortages.
Locus Robotics, which provides robotic solutions for automating warehouses, raised $150 million in a Series E round led by Tiger Global Management and BOND. Scale Venture Partners and Prologis Ventures, the venture capital arm of Prologis, the global logistics real estate company, also participated. The round valued Locus at $1 billion, granting it the coveted startup unicorn status.
Locus will use the funds for research and development and expand its reach to more markets around the globe.
It already serves more than 40 customers and 80 warehouses across the world, and its LocusBots picked more than 300 million units, including 70 million units during the recent holiday season.
Locus provides a multi-bot solution that incorporates intelligent autonomous mobile robots that operate collaboratively with human workers to improve piece-handling productivity.
CEVA Logistics, DHL, Material Bank, Boots UK, GEODIS, Port Logistics Group, Verst Logistics, and Radial are some Locus customers.
Warehouses and automation
“This new round of funding marks an important inflection point for Locus Robotics,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics in the announcement. “Warehouses facing ongoing labor shortages and exploding volumes, are looking for flexible, intelligent automation to improve productivity and grow their operations. Locus is uniquely positioned to drive digital transformation in this enormous global market.”
Locus’s robotic fleets help to meet the rising demand for logistics due to the eCommerce boom, especially when volumes can be unpredictable.
The company estimates the market to be more than 20 billion square feet of warehouse space worldwide. The industry often suffers severe labor shortages.
“The logistics industry is facing huge challenges as it struggles to cope with rapid increases in demand, and at the same time severe labor shortages,” said Ash Sharma, Managing Director at Interact Analysis, a market research firm covering the intelligent automation sector. “Warehouses are massively under-penetrated today, but increasingly operators are seeing the huge benefits that warehouse robotics such as the Locus solution can bring. As a result, we expect that over a million warehouse robots will be installed over the next four years and the number of warehouses using them will grow ten-fold.”
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