Online shopping and e-commerce spiked with the onset of Covid-19, leaving businesses around the world scrambling to keep up with high order volumes and working to transport billions of products along global supply chains. Bogged down with an increase in activity, supply chains have encountered disruptions and breakdowns more frequently since the start of the pandemic. In fact, disruptions have increased in frequency by 67 percent year-over-year, according to findings by Resilinc.
This is precisely why the market for supply chain management is projected to reach $8.95 billion by 2024. Many companies have taken it upon themselves to innovate a range of solutions to keep operations running smoothly for organizations across the globe, and one of these innovators just reached double unicorn status following a nine-digit funding round.
Based in France with its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, robotics company Exotec announced a $335 million Series D investment led by Goldman Sachs. Exotec develops solutions that aim to improve warehouse employee working conditions as well as operational efficiency through human and robot collaboration. Valued at $2 billion, the company has raised a total of $446 million in funding to date from investors including 83North, Dell Technologies Capital and Iris Capital.
Exotec improves warehouse working conditions with products like its flagship Skypod System, a retail order picking solution that helps automate order preparation with laser guidance and vertical climbing capabilities as seen in the video below. Exotec also recently launched Skypicker, a robotic arm that can move 600 items an hour to support high-volume fulfillment and returns.
Having tripled its customer base since the fall of 2020 when it raised its Series C, Exotec currently serves more than 30 enterprise clients around the world, including names like Gap and Geodis, and plans to put some of its funding toward building out its presence. A portion of its capital will go toward continuing to launch large-scale product deployments in North America, Europe and Asia.
“Following the most significant supply chain disruptions of the modern era, there’s only room left for innovation,” Romain Moulin, Exotec’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “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 rest of Exotec’s new capital will go toward fueling its global hiring push. Its current headcount of over 300 will double in size by 2023. The company also hopes to onboard 500 engineers by 2025 as it continues to develop its tech. Its Atlanta presence is currently composed of 30 employees, as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, another number it plans to double over the course of the year.