Locus Robotics raises $40m to automate retail fulfilment

3 Jun 2020

LocusBots. Image: Locus Robotics

With the latest round of funding, Locus Robotics plans to launch a European headquarters and drive R&D in warehouse robotics innovations.

Locus Robotics has announced that it raised $40m in Series D funding. The Boston-based company, which develops autonomous mobile robots for fulfilment warehouses, has raised a total of more than $105m to date.

The latest funding round was led by Zebra Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Zebra Technologies. Existing investors, including Scale Ventures Partners, also participated in the round.

Locus Robotics said that the investment will drive research and development while helping the company to expand its global footprint. It is looking to drive faster development of new warehouse robotics innovations, launch a European headquarters and create several strategic reseller partnerships throughout 2020.

Automation and the Covid-19 pandemic

The start-up’s technology provides a multi-bot fulfilment system that incorporates collaborative, autonomous robots that work closely with human employees, aiming to improve fulfilment productivity and efficiency. Locus Robotics counts Boots UK, DHL, CEVA and Port Logistics Group among its customers.

Rick Faulk, CEO of Locus Robotics, said that the company is “thrilled” to announce the fresh funding during its most “transformative” year yet.

“The new funding allows Locus to accelerate expansion into global markets, enabling us to strengthen our support of retail, industrial, healthcare and [third-party logistics] businesses around the world as they navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that they come out stronger on the other side.”

The start-up, which was founded in Boston in 2014, said that the pandemic has quickly transformed the retail industry, making online and omnichannel purchasing the new normal. It added that its robotics fulfilment solution enables brands, retailers and third-party logistics operators to meet higher order volumes.

Tony Palcheck, senior director at Zebra Ventures, said: “Automation has proven to be a critical solution for retail and third-party logistics businesses during this challenging time.

“As the retail industry continues to shift to e-commerce, Locus Robotics’ warehouse automation will help businesses meet the demands of this new normal, ensuring that customers can increase operational efficiency to meet requirements for fast, accurate delivery.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic