January 19, 2022
Phantom Auto, which develops remote operation software for logistics vehicles, has announced a strategic investment of $42 million, led by freight and logistics provider ArcBest, and NFI, one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers in North America. The two investors have executed commercial agreements to deploy thousands of Phantom-powered forklifts in the coming years.
Additional investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility, OurCrowd, Perot Jain, Max Blankfeld, and other previous investors. Phantom said it plans to use the funding to rapidly increase headcount, develop new technologies, and execute key commitments to its top-tier customers. It also plans to grow in multiple logistics verticals, including delivery robots, trucks, and other vehicles.
The company aims to help customers solve the labor shortage within warehouses, which is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $1 trillion by 2030. The platform uses human-centered remote operation, letting people remotely operate forklifts, trucks, robots, and other vehicles from up to thousands of miles away. The company said that with the platform, supply chain operators can tap into drivers from anywhere – connecting people who want to work with jobs that need to be filled.
The large orders from ArcBest and NFI, along with the company’s commercial traction in the material handling industry, indicate demand for remote-enabled forklifts, Phantom Auto said. As part of its partnership with ArcBest, the companies will develop multiple integrated solutions, starting with human operated, remote-enabled autonomous counterbalanced forklifts.
“Collaborating with the right technology partners has been key in elevating how we serve our customers and create opportunities for our employees,” said Michael Newcity, chief innovation officer of ArcBest and president of ArcBest Technologies. “Having worked with Phantom for multiple years, we’ve seen firsthand how their technology unlocks new use cases for remote work and accelerates the deployment of automation. Phantom’s solutions are a game-changer for the entire logistics industry.”
For more details on Phantom Auto and its technologies, visit its website here.