Geek+ has another $150 million reasons to be thankful. The Beijing, China-based company that specializes in AI-enabled logistics robots completed a $150 million Series B round. The round was led by New York-based Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm that has invested more than $11 billion in over 100 companies in China since 1994. Volcanics Venture and Vertex Ventures also participated in the round.
According to Crunchbase, Geek+ has now raised approximately $240 million over four rounds. Warburg Pincus has committed a total of approximately $100 million in Geek+ through a series of investments since 2017. Geek+ claims the $150 million round, which surpassed GreyOrange’s $140 million Series C in September 2018, is the largest investment round ever in the space. It will use the funding to grow the business “by more than five times.”
“The investment by Warburg Pincus and other shareholders fully demonstrates their recognition of Geek+’s development and their confidence in Geek+’s future prospects. We will continue to focus on empowering various industries through AI & Robotics technologies,” said Geek+ founder and CEO Yong Zheng. “This year, we expect to grow our business by more than five times. This round of financing will further strengthen Geek+’s continued investments in innovative products and solutions, global distribution network, and customer service. We will continue to be customer-centric, and create values for customers through a seamless integration of AI & Robotics technologies and customers’ supply chain needs.”
Founded in 2015, Geek+’s logistics robots include goods-to-person, intelligent moving, intelligent sorting, and automated forklifts. At press time, Geek+ said it has delivered more than 5,000 robots and implemented over 100 robotics warehouse projects to customers globally, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. Geek+ also has strategic partnerships with many leading multinational companies in various industries, such as e-commerce, logistics, automotive, fast fashion, and pharmaceuticals.
“Since our first investment in Geek+ last year, we have been very impressed with Geek+’s rapid growth, especially in business expansion and internationalization,” said Jericho Zhang, Executive Director of Warburg Pincus. “Technology is revolutionizing supply chain. Geek+ is one of the leading technology companies that is able to combine robotics, big data, AI and other cutting-edge technologies to solve the pain points of the traditional supply chain. As it accumulates more data, and continues to optimize algorithms and expand into other industries, we are confident that Geek+ will continue to lead the revolution and innovation in the space.”
Geek+, which had a presence at MODEX 2018, the largest supply-chain trade show in the Americas, is the latest example of venture capital flowing into logistics robotics companies in 2018. Other notable investments include GreyOrange’s aforementioned $140 million Series C, Boxed’s $111M Series D, IAM Robotics’ $20 million round, inVia Robotics’ $20M Series B, Vecna’s $13.5M Equity Round and many others.
The US warehouse robotics market is expected to surpass $20 billion by 2024. The main driver is the booming US e-commerce market, which grew to $453.46 billion online in 2017, according to the US Commerce Department. That represents a 16 percent increase from the $390.99 billion spent in 2016.
China’s e-commerce market, according to reports, reached $US4.26 trillion in 2017, which is higher than Germany’s entire GDP (US$4.21 trillion). Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, for example, racked up more than $30.8 billion in online sales during Single’s Day, a 24-hour online shopping event that continues to smash records every year.
Andy Kittross says
This is yet another obvious clone of the Kiva system. Presuming Kiva had an extensive patent portfolio by the time Amazon acquired them, why does Amazon allow these competitors to copy the system? Is it because Amazon turned the Kiva system into an internal tool instead of marketing it outside?
Christian Lancaster says
Andy – Kiva does have an extensive patent portfolio and their key patents are expiring in 2022. These competitors have the same key patents in other countries (i.e. India / China) thus they were able to develop the technology abroad and sell abroad without infringement . As long as the first generation being installed domestically does not move a shelf (but a cart ) they may not infringe in any patents. Amazon will not announce a lawsuit until these bot are sold – this is far more damaging as 1) They can prove damages 2) They can gain basis in the lawsuit 3) They will deter other companies.