January 17, 2022
France-based Exotec, which builds warehouse robotic automation systems, has announced raising $335 million in Series D funding at a $2 billion valuation. The company said it plans to use the funding to continue large-scale deployments of its technology in North America, Europe, and Asia for global brands, as well as hire 500 new research & development engineers by 2025 to accelerate the development of its high-performance warehouse automation technology.
The company’s signature offering is the Skypod system, which uses robots that can reach a height of 36 feet to enable high-density inventory storage and retrieval. The company supports more than 30 industry brands that span the e-commerce, grocery, retail, manufacturing and third-party logistics sectors. Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Growth Equity business led the financing round, with follow-on investments from 83North and Dell Technologies Capital.
“Following the most significant supply chain disruptions of the modern era, there’s only room left for innovation,” said Romain Moulin, co-founder and CEO of Exotec. “While the entire logistics sector is fraught with uncertainty, one of the most prevalent challenges is ongoing labor shortages. Exotec pioneers a new path: elegant collaboration between human and robot workers that delivers warehouse productivity in a lasting, far more sustainable way.”
The company announced it doubled its revenue and tripled its customer base since closing a $90 million Series C funding round in the fall of 2020. In North America, Exotec signed eight new enterprise customers, including Gap and Geodis, and expanded its work with existing clients in new markets. Sporting retailer Decathlon deployed the Skypod system in its Montreal fulfillment center following successful deployments in Europe.
“Exotec warehouse robotics have transformed our logistics operations in multiple markets around the world,” said Richard Tremblay, logistics manager at Decathlon Canada. “We value the unique combination of speed, performance, and flexibility that allows us to provide leading service to our customers. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Exotec.”
Ash Sharma, managing director of market research firm Interact Analysis, said this is the largest investment seen so far for a mobile robot/warehouse robot company, as well as its $2 billion valuation. “It is playing in a new technology niche that sees warehouse robots bring individual bins to pickers instead of whole racks,” said Sharma. “This niche was worth just $270 million in 2021; however, it is predicted to grow incredibly quickly to reach $3 billion in 2025.”
He added that Exotec’s revenues doubled in 2021 to hit €105 million, and it is “more than feasible that its revenues could again double in 2022.” The market will remain hot as retailers and logistics companies continue to deal with COVID-19 impacts, e-commerce surges and ongoing labor shortages for warehouse workers. Global revenues from warehouse automation projects surged to $36 billion last year, and Interact Analysis predicts they could reach $68 billion in 2025.
For more information about Exotec and its offerings, visit its website here.