Bossa Nova Robotics, a company looking to provide retailers with in-store robots, has raised $17.5 million in a Series B funding round, according to a Silicon Angle report.
The firm, whose robots are already being tested in dozens of Walmart stores nationwide, said it will use the new cash to accelerate its rollout of robots in stores across the U.S.
Bossa Nova’s latest funding round was led by venture capital firm Paxion Capital Partners, with participation from Intel Capital, WRV Capital, Lucas Venture Group and Cota Capital.
Bossa Nova has been having a nice run of good news in recent weeks: the funding announcement comes only about two weeks after Walmart announced that it was expanding use of the company’s inventory-tracking robots from a limited test in three states to 50 or so stores across the country. These announcements also followed the September appointment of a new CEO to Bossa Nova.
With this financing, the company now has total funding of almost $42 million, the Silicon Angle report stated. It’s not clear where we will see Bossa Nova’s robots next, but there is reason to believe that retailers are ready to embrace robotics at a variety of levels in their store operations.
Not only are companies such as Amazon pushing ahead with ideas for highly automated or completely automated stores staffed by robots, but more broadly retailers are starting to realize how robots can enhance their supply chain productivity, and — when it comes to in-store robots — tackle tasks such as inventory tracking that help free human store associates to interact more directly with customers.
The technology is still new, of course, and there are lingering concerns about the potential for robots to take jobs away from humans. However, with retailers such as Walmart and Lowe's getting robots out of the lab and into their stores in at least a limited way, we could see other players following suit, and perhaps even helping customers warm up to the concept.