e-Commerce is undisputedly one of the fastest growing sectors at the moment. And this has opened up tremendous opportunities for application of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in product handling and other such warehouse related works. Companies have turned towards robotics and AI to supplant humans in tedium jobs such as sorting and transporting objects from one fixed point to another.
A record-shattering $150 million raised by Geek+ in a series B funding serves as the perfect example.
This was the largest ever round raised by a logistics robotics company in a single go, edging out the $140 million raised by GreyOrange in Series C back in September. It has raised approximately $240 million over a course of four funding rounds.
Global investment giant Warburg Pincus was among the largest contributors. With other shareholders such as Volcanics Venture and Vertex Ventures also participating in the funding round. Warburg Pincus has to date committed a total of approximately $100 million to the startup through a series of investments since 2017. Since 1994, the firm has invested more than $11 billion in over 100 companies in China, with a penchant for Machine Learning and AI companies.
The 3-year-old Beijing based startup, Geek+ logistics robots have a strong portfolio of goods-to-person, intelligent moving, intelligent sorting, and automated forklifts. It has delivered more than 5,000 robots across some 100 robotics warehouse projects in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. It also maintains partnerships with several MNCs such as Alibaba’s Tmall, VIP.com, and other companies overseas.
The booming US e-commerce market, which grew to $453.46 billion online in 2017 and China’s e-commerce market which was valued at $US4.26 trillion in 2017 are expected to drive the sales of robotics logistics in this space.
This funding is expected to grow Geek+’s business by more than five times. “The investment by Warburg Pincus and other shareholders fully demonstrate 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.