In May of 2021, Fortune Business Insights published its 'Logistics Robots Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis' report that confirmed, much to no one's surprise that e-commerce was the main beneficiary of automation. In 2020, the global logistics robots market was valued at $5.38 billion, a year later the same study concluded a market value of $6.17 billion, and based on a CAGR of 16.4% between 2021 and 2028, we're looking at a market value of $17.82 billion before the end of the decade.
Clearly, the smart money is robotics friendly, as VCs poured more than $17 billion into the sector, nearly triple the investment in 2020. While this year has cooled somewhat, upwards of $5 billion has already been pledged to robotics-focused startups. Polish developer of pick-and-place warehouse robots Nomagic brought home $22 million, London’s SLAMcore swept off $16 million and Berlin-based Micropsi raised $30 million in a Series B funding round, to name but just a few.
While certainly not alone in the robots-on-the-warehouse-floor game, London-based intelligence and robotics company BotsAndUs is aiming to set itself from the crowd with its fully-autonomous, mobile robots that are able to capture and report any and all stages of warehousing operations. From the condition of goods arriving at the facilities, to location and quantities on hand, and confirmation of further forward shipment, BotsAndUs has it covered, all without the need for human intervention.
As the offer is comprised of a combination of unique navigation capabilities, vision systems, and AI, no digital retooling of existing warehouses is needed, further increasing the merchant's bottom line. It's precisely this combination that's triggered Zurich-based Lakestar to lead the #13 million round, and Maersk Growth, Kindred Capital, and Capnamic to participate.
With the fresh capital, BotsAndUs is targeting new markets, including Germany, France, Nordics, the U.S., and Canada. The AI startup had earlier brought home $6 million in 2020.
Founded in 2015, BotsAndUs' technology is employed by the likes of international shipping giant Maersk, one of Europe's largest and busiest airports, Heathrow, and leading German consumer electronics vendor MediaMarktSaturn.
The company recently entered into a partnership with Maersk to collaborate with Maersk’s warehousing and contract logistics division, initially in one of their warehouses, exploring automating inventory management and acceptance processes, and with time to improve customers’ visibility and access to inventory across facilities.
“More than 80% of warehouses have no automation at all. With warehouses expected to grow by 50% by 2025 and labour shortages of over 30%, automation clearly holds the key to ensuring logistics operations are as optimised as possible," commented Lakestar partner Christoph Schuh. "Logistics is an industry that always faced margin pressures and little means to invest into a digital infrastructure. BotsAndUs real-time data capture abilities create this infrastructure and the basis for long-term automation of warehousing operations.”