French startup Exotec has raised a $ 90 million Series C round led by CNorth, in which existing investors Iris Capital and Breega are also participating. Other existing investors are 360 Capital. The company has been working on semi-automated warehouses for e-commerce customers.
The system is based on tiny robots called Skypods. They roam the floor, pacing up and down to pick up standardized product containers.
The company also offers logistics software to coordinate all of these robots through the warehouse. As you scale, you can add more robots and more racks with no downtime.
It won't completely replace humans as you still have to pick goods out of the trash can and pack things. However, human operators can stay at one workplace while robots do all the roaming.
You can use a workstation to pick up goods, but also to fill up trash cans. The idea is that you never have to enter the Exotec area. It is a pure robot zone.
In addition to increasing productivity, you can increase your storage capacity by switching to Exotec thanks to high racks and narrow aisles.
The company now has teams in Atlanta and Tokyo – it plans to produce 4,000 robots a year by 2021. Everything is manufactured in Lille, France, in a 6,000 square meter facility. The company currently has fourteen systems running around the world. Customers include Carrefour, Leclerc, Cdiscount and Fast Retailing (Uniqlo).
Exotec already raised USD 17.7 million in 2018 and USD 3.8 million (EUR 3.3 million) in 2016.