Locus Robotics, the autonomous mobile robotics company, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $150 million in Series E funding, led by Tiger Global Management and Bond. The funding brings the company's valuation to $1 billion.
The round "builds on support from existing investors," according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive, and comes during a time of increased e-commerce sales and higher demand for retailer warehouses.
Locus Robotics, which specializes in warehouse fulfillment robotics, plans to use the capital to expand its international presence, and support its research and development efforts to enhance its technology.
As e-commerce grows and worker safety remains a top concern, Locus Robotics has raised more capital to scale its fulfillment warehouse robotics tech.
The firm currently works with companies like DHL, Material Bank, Boots UK, GEODIS, Port Logistics Group, Verst Logistics and Radial, and stated that its clients are doubling or tripling their fulfillment productivity. The technology allows companies to execute with almost total accuracy, according to Locus Robotics, while also cutting on operational costs and improving worker safety.
"This new round of funding marks an important inflection point for Locus Robotics," CEO Rick Faulk said in a statement. "Warehouses facing ongoing labor shortages and exploding volumes are looking for flexible, intelligent automation to improve productivity and grow their operations."
The debate over whether warehouse robotics make fulfillment safer continues even among robotics manufacturers. However, the emerging technology has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has mandated social distancing measures while seeing increased e-commerce demand, with retailers like Home Depot revamping their fulfillment operations with technology.
Locus Robotics currently serves more than 40 customers and 80 warehouses globally. Its LocusBots have picked more than 300 million units, including 70 million units during last year's holiday season, per the company press release.