Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecommerce has boomed in 2020. With online merchants seeing a 42% year-on-year increase in sales last month in the U.S. alone – the data suggests, the global pandemic has led to an extra $107B (approx. €91B) in online sales since March.
This surge in demand is good news for companies such as Exotec, which offers an innovative order preparation system, based on a fleet of collaborative mobile robots.
Exotec raises funds
The Lille-based warehouse robotics company Exotec has raised $90M (approx. €77M) in a fresh round of funding led by 83North – with participation from Dell Technologies Capital. Existing investors Iris Capital and Breega also invested in this round.
The raised capital will be utilised to further expand and deliver Exotec’s fully adjustable robotics solution to a wider range of clients in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, across numerous B2B and B2C retail sectors such as fashion, grocery, pharmaceutical, hardware, and manufacturing.
The funds will also help Exotec’s international development, especially their recently formed Atlanta and Tokyo teams, to help them meet the growing demand for warehouse automation technology in the United States and Asia.
The company aims to become the leader in robotics solutions for logistics and looks to produce up to 4,000 robots per year by 2021.
Expansion of robotics and automation to more warehouses
Founded in 2015 by Romain Moulin and Renaud Heitz, Exotec builds an autonomous robot, called Skypod 3D, for fulfillment warehouses that automate the collection and moving of goods inside a warehouse.
This helps retailers and e-merchants to quadruple their warehouse productivity and increase up to five times their storage capacity. Their autonomous robots can move in a unique 3D pattern at a speed of 13 feet per second, creating a faster and more efficient picking and preparation process.
Warehouse robotics have a 45% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), while the global automation market’s CAGR is also constantly growing by 10 to 15%.
Exotec revenue doubled in 2020 as several new international clients, including Carrefour and Fast Retailing (Uniqlo group), adopted their technology in key warehouses.
In North America, Exotec is expanding its footprint to meet the increasing demand for automated logistics. The company signed partnerships with experienced American integrators such as AHS, S&H Systems, and Conveyco to accelerate market penetration.
The partnership announced at the end of 2019 between Exotec and international retail company, Fast Retailing, is now delivering its benefits to the group. The technology is under deployment in two warehouses in Japan, with 1,000 Skypods improving logistics efficiency for Uniqlo stores.
Exotec Nihon has been created to support the operations in Japan and more than 30 employees will be hired in the coming months.
Prior to this, in 2018, the company raised $17.7M (approx. €14.5M), and in 2016, it raised $3.8M (approx. €3.3M).
Image credit: Exotec