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Reliance Retail Ventures, the retail unit of Reliance Industries, acquired a 54% stake in Addverb Technologies for $132 million. Addverb will continue to operate independently, and the deal makes Reliance the largest shareholder in the company.
“Reliance was already one of our esteemed clients, with whom we had co-created and delivered highly automated warehouses for their Jio-Mart grocery business. The comfort level and the trust factor were already in place, which led to this association,” Addverb’s CEO and co-founder Sangeet Kumar said.
Addverb plans to use the funds to expand its global operations and grow its facility in Noida, a city in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, to one of the biggest robotic manufacturing facilities.
Addverb and Reliance also plan to build 5G robotics and battery systems and to use carbon fiber to build affordable robots.
Addverb began in 2016 and is based in India. Currently, 80% of the company’s revenue comes from India. Addverb hopes that in the next five years it can make half of its revenue overseas. It currently operates four overseas locations in Singapore, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia, as well as a manufacturing plant in Noida. Its Noida facility produces around 10,000 robots a year.
Kumar claims that its Noida facility will eventually be completely automated.
Addverb focuses on creating fully automated warehouses and manufacturing facilities. It works with several industries, including e-commerce, retail and grocery. According to Kumar, the company hopes to expand to hospitals and airports.
It offers five different robots, a mobile robot, shuttle robot, pallet robot, sorting robot and a UV disinfection robot. It also offers a shuttle-based ASRS system and software to create high-speed robotic fulfillment centers.
The investment from Reliance Retail Ventures brings Addverb’s overall valuation to around $265 million.
Earlier this week, France-based Exotec raised $335 million to scale its ASRS technology.
Reliance Industries is chaired and run by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia. The investment comes as Amazon intensifies its efforts in India’s e-commerce market.