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Third Wave Automation (TWA) announced that it brought in a strategic investment from Qualcomm Ventures and Zebra Technologies. The latest investment brings the company’s total funding since it was founded in 2018 to $70 million.
TWA brought in $15 million in 2020 as its Series A round and raised another $40 million in 2021, meaning this investment could be for up to $15 million.
This investment will help TWA invest in new products, as its autonomous forklift product, Third Wave Automation Reach, expands its select pilot programs. TWA Reach is a fully automated reach truck that can handle any pallet or payload from the warehouse floor to the rack. The system uses TWA’s core automation technology and collaborative autonomy platform which enables remote operation and assistance, intelligent fleet management and continuous learning capabilities.
“After successfully deploying our solution with key pilot customers, we are excited to expand the TWA Reach pilot program. This enables us to explore additional automation workflows and continue deploying flexible forklift automation technology,” Arshan Poursohi, TWA’s co-founder and CEO, said. “With the strategic investment from Qualcomm Ventures and Zebra Technologies, we look forward to scaling production of our forktrucks, deploying them with new customers in a wide variety of sites, continuing to innovate with new applications and additional materials handling vehicles, and perfecting our fleet management.”
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With the new funding, TWA hopes to expand its market offerings, accelerate new products for automating other classes of forklifts, like narrow aisle and counterbalance trucks, and integrate with other robotics products, like from Fetch Robotics, a subsidiary of Zebra Technologies and autonomous mobile robot (AMR) provider.
“As our supply chain customers continue to battle labor shortages, they are turning to automation solutions to improve productivity. TWA’s autonomous, high-reach fork trucks streamline warehouse workflows, enabling operators to increase throughput and lower costs while also improving worker safety,” Tony Palcheck, managing director of Zebra Ventures at Zebra Technologies, said. “TWA’s approach aligns with Zebra’s goals, and we look forward to working with Arshan and the Third Wave team to improve material handling operations.”
TWA Reach was recently featured in The Robot Report’s “Best robots of CES 2023“. The article highlighted TWA Reach’s three operational modes: (1) manual; (2) remote operation; (3) fully autonomous operation.