French warehouse robotics outfit Exotec has raised $90 million in a new round of funding led by 83North alongside existing backers Iris Capital and Breega.
The Lille-based company builds an autonomous robot, called Skypod 3D, for fulfilment warehouses that automates the collection and moving of goods around a warehouse setting. The pandemic has led to a surge in e-commerce orders, forcing fulfilment centres to react much quicker.
The money will be pumped into development and manufacturing with the company saying it will produce up to 4,000 robots a year by 2021. It has opened facilities in Atlanta and Tokyo to support operations in the US and Asia.
Exotec counts Carrefour and Japan’s Fast Retailing among its clients with 1,000 Skypods deployed with the latter. It said its revenues have doubled this year and claims that its autonomous robots can help retailers and merchants “quadruple” their warehouse productivity and increase storage capacity fivefold.
Japan is proving to be a potentially big market for the company, which will be opening a customer support base in the country with 30 employees in the coming months. It is also hiring in North America to support a number of deals signed there.
"There is a global need for robotics solutions in warehouses, but logisticians are often concerned to invest in traditional fixed automation in this fast-changing world," said Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec.
"This $50 billion market should be supplied with flexible and efficient solutions to fulfil customers’ needs and new shopping timelines. Our fourteen running systems deliver a best-in-class performance to world leading retailers across three continents while allowing them to constantly adjust their infrastructure."