Sway Ventures Leads $25 Million Investment in Fetch Robotics

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Fetch Robotics, headquartered in San Jose, California, a provider of a leading platform for collaborative robotics solutions, has today announced that it has raised $25 million in series B funding. Led by Sway Ventures, with participation from existing investors, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Shasta Ventures and SB Group US (“Softbank”). The Series B round brings Fetch Robotics’ total funding to date to $48 million. The new capital will be used to meet accelerating worldwide customer demand for Fetch Robotics’ approach to delivering Intralogistic technologies and systems.

“We are seeing first-hand that the growth in e-commerce and an expanding on-demand economy are contributing to unprecedented labour challenges faced by the $5 trillion global logistics industry,” according to Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “With labour in short supply, our customers are still able to quickly realise significant, measurable productivity increases by deploying our Autonomous Mobile Robots.”

The Fetch Robotics Platform is said to combine the industry’s broadest line of mobile robots, with cloud-based software system. The Freight series of autonomous mobile robots, support multiple applications, including material transport systems and automated data collection. The FetchCore cloud software enables customers to deploy in hours, adapt in seconds and generate insights from robot data. The combination addresses the widest range of applications – finding and moving anything from small parts to whole pallets in warehouses, factories and distribution centres – and is said to deliver the fastest time to automation of any solution on the market.

“Warehouses today are far more dynamic than in the past – and they need to be in order to adapt to constantly changing parameters,” according to John Santagate, Research Director – Service Robotics, IDC. “The Fetch Robotics solution provides their customers with faster time to automation and the means to continually adapt to changing supply and demand.”

Advancements in robotics and self-guided vehicle technologies have allowed robots to enter the workplace as collaborators that can supplement and increase the productivity of human labour. Unlike many systems that can take weeks or months to deploy software and infrastructure, train robots on their environment, and integrate them with dedicated IT systems, Fetch claim that their systems can be up and running in a matter of hours. At RK Logistics, a customer of Fetch, the AMRs were up and running in a matter of days and currently handle between 30-50% of the items in their facility. Customers of Fetch, can also add, remove or modify workflows with a few clicks and adapt in real time to changing conditions.

Fetch Robotics’ AMRs require no software installation or changes of any kind to a facility. After a single drive through, FetchCore software builds a map of the facility that all robots use for navigation, allowing them to travel quickly and efficiently anywhere they need to go. AMRs use onboard intelligence to dynamically avoid obstacles and ensure safety, adapting as they go and sharing what they learn. FetchCore provides an intuitive interface for creating and managing workflows and supports powerful analytics for optimising material flow, finding lost inventory and minimising inventory shrinkage.

Fetch Robotics systems are deployed globally in warehouses, factories, and distribution centres for major multinational companies. The company was recently ranked number 5 in Top 25 supply chain management startups 2017 and is claimed to be the top robotics company on the list.

“The warehouse and logistics automation market is estimated at over $40 billion today, and is poised to double over the next five years,” said Brian Nugent, Founding General Partner at Sway Ventures. “Our investment in Fetch complements and extends our portfolio of exceptional leaders who are transforming the global supply chain.”

Fetch Robotics will add Brian Nugent from Sway Ventures to the board of directors. Nugent will join Bryce Robers from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Rob Coneybeer from Shasta Ventures, Lydia Jett from Softbank, Steve Hogan from Tech-Rx and Fetch Robotics CEO Melonee Wise.

Robotics News, December 6