inVia Robotics, a Los Angeles-based maker of warehouse robots for e-commerce fulfillment centers, raised $20 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Point72 Ventures along with ongoing investments from Upfront and Embark Ventures. inVia Robotics raised a $9 million Series A round in February 2018, bringing its total funding to date to $29 million.
inVia said in its statement that “the funds will be used to boost the commercial deployment of inVia’s Picker robots and cloud-based robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) management system in warehouses as necessitated by the scaling e-commerce market.” inVia also expects the funding to drive expansion across the company, including a plan to double the current employee count by the end of the year. Additionally, funding will support the continued building of inVia Picker robots in Los Angeles.
Competition with giants like Amazon has made warehouse automation crucial for e-commerce companies. inVia seeks to mitigate the initial cost of a large-scale robot purchase with its subscription-based RaaS model.
“The overhead cost of purchasing a fleet of robots is often beyond reach,” said Lior Elazary, founder and CEO of inVia Robotics. “We’re excited to have this funding to fuel the growth of our subscription-based RaaS technology to optimize warehouse performance and increase productivity for our customers.”
inVia Robotics Picker robots
The inVia Picker robot works collaboratively alongside human workers to eliminate the need for operators to walk around the warehouse. The idea is to allow human workers to concentrate on more complex tasks like picking and quality control. This robot assistance has the added benefit of minimizing operator exposure to dangerous warehouse operations like forklifts, heavy lifting, etc.
By automating the storage and retrieval process, inVia says a warehouse can multiply human efforts by up to five times, enabling e-commerce warehouses to handle consumer demands. inVia’s subscription-based model allows companies of any size to add automation without the hefty price tag. inVia’s holistic RaaS platform integrates with any existing layout and software.
“E-commerce industry growth is driving the need for more warehouse automation to fulfill demand, and AI-driven robots can deliver that automation with the flexibility to scale across varied workflows. Our investment in inVia Robotics reflects our conviction in AI as a key enabler for the supply chain industry,” said Daniel Gwak, Co-Head, AI Investments at Point72 Ventures.
inVia Robotics’ Picker robots are deployed nationally across warehouses and distribution centers, including Rakuten Super Logistics and Hollar. In total, over 100 Picker robots are being used within customer warehouses providing an overall efficiency boost of 300-400%.
“It was clear to us from day one that Lior and the inVia team have built a superior solution to tackle the $80B fulfillment warehouse automation market,” said Greg Bettinelli, Partner at Upfront Ventures. “We’ve been continually impressed with their product innovation and impressive commerce partner pipeline, and we’re thrilled to continue to support them.”