Massachusetts-based Locus Robotics today announced a $ 150 million Series E. Under the leadership of Tiger Global Management and Bond, The firm has a total net worth of about $ 250, and values the robotics company at $ 1 billion. Locus is notable for having a more modular and flexible solution to automate the warehouse than many of its competitors. (See: Berkshire Gray). The company essentially leases the robot fleet to organize to automate logistics.
CEO Rick Foulk says ClearTips, “We can change wings while flying.” Basically no one else can do that. Companies want flexible automation. They don’t want anything to reach the destination. If you are a third-party logistics company and you have a two, three, four-year contract, the last thing you want to do is invest $ 25- $ 50 million to buy a large-scale solution, Bolt it to the floor and lock in all this upfront expense. “
The company currently has some 4,000 robots deployed in 80 sites. Roughly 80% of its deployments are in the US, with the remaining 20% in Europe. Part of this large-scale funding round will go towards the expansion of international operations, including a major push in the European Union, as well as the APAC region, where it is currently not very high.
The company will also invest in R&D, sales and marketing and will increase its current headcount of 165 to 75 in the coming year.
The epidemic is clearly a driver of interest around this brand of automation, with more companies looking to robotics for help.
“, COVID has markedly increased the growth of online ordering and the spike is probably a four to five year leap.” “If you look at the trend of e-commerce, it is at a steady upward tick. This was around 11% last year and COVID spiked to 16/17%. We think the genie is out of the bottle, and it is not going back any time soon. “
The funding round also points to a company that appears to have no desire to be acquired by a big name, similar to Kiva Systems’ transformation into Amazon robotics.
“We are not interested in being acquired,” says the CEO. “We feel that we can create the highest and greatest value by working independently. There are investors who want to help everyone who is not named ‘Amazon’ competition.”