inVia Robotics, provider of warehouse automation robots, has secured a $30 million Series C funding round from M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC. The two firms are also joined by Hitachi Ventures (the strategic corporate venture arm of Hitachi, Ltd.) and inVia Robotics’ existing investors (Point 72, Upfront, and Embark). To date, inVia has raised $59 million from strategic funders committed to the company’s growth.
The latest funding comes on the heels of record revenue and deployment growth in 2020 for inVia, driven by a heightened demand for optimization technology in eCommerce fulfillment spurred by the pandemic. In the United States alone, eCommerce experienced 44% year-over-year growth––the most significant shift the industry has seen––prompting immediate and long-term adjustments for fulfillment centers to keep up with record online shopping numbers. Last year, inVia markedly increased deployments, growing revenue by 600%.
“We are proud and honored to have earned the confidence from these industry-leading investors who are equally as committed to the progression of automation within the supply chain as we are,” says Lior Elazary, CEO and Co-Founder of inVia. “We have intentionally aligned ourselves in the best interest of our customers and their businesses, finding ways to not only optimize productivity, but also further inVia Robotics’ global reach.”
Leveraging early funding rounds that supported the development and innovation of superior technology, inVia’s latest investment will be used primarily to extend their proven product’s reach and operational support in North America. The funding will also be used to drive market expansion to APAC and EMEA as well as align inVia with strategic supply chain partners to open new channels and deliver end-to-end logistics solutions. Most notably, inVia anticipates using the Qualcomm® Robotics RB5 Platform––the world’s first 5G and AI-enabled robotics platform facilitating accelerated development of innovative, power-efficient, high computing robots and drones.
“Global e-commerce adoption is experiencing exponential growth resulting in the need for robust warehouse optimization solutions,” said Quinn Li, Senior Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures. “inVia’s AI-powered warehouse automation solutions help improve warehouse throughput and workflow efficiency. We look forward to supporting inVia in accelerating warehouse digitization with AI and 5G through our investment.”
inVia has become an industry leader with its robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model, which has a distinct approach to fulfillment and inventory management. Through RaaS, the company offers an easy entry point for companies of any size to commence a scalable path to autonomous mobile robot fleets that meet their business needs. Furthermore, inVia makes automation adoption manageable via a subscription-based payment system where businesses pay according to the productivity levels they desire, versus needing to lease and maintain equipment.
Software and AI
“inVia’s integrated solution––with software and AI at the core––enables warehouse managers to take advantage of operational and cost efficiencies that have historically only been available to large enterprises,” said M12 principal James Wu. ”Now, inVia’s pre-built integrations with warehouse management systems are making scalable customization accessible to companies of all sizes.”
With the addition of Hitachi as an investor, they bring extensive experience in industrial automation across other verticals as inVia scales. The Hitachi brand is synonymous with leading-edge technology that connects and amplifies the advances in AI-powered software and automation hardware. They share inVia’s vision of optimizing operations in every warehouse by maximizing efficiencies across all processes through digitization.
inVia’s platform programmatically digitizes every logistics workflow, using AI to continually optimize machines and people. It includes inVia Logic intelligent software that orchestrates the most efficient movement of goods across a warehouse using proprietary algorithms to efficiently assign and balance tasks. It employs inVia Picker robots, the mobile goods-to-person automation with the highest throughput per person in the industry. The complete solution can be seamlessly integrated into existing operations or new facilities. It delivers to customers a flexible and scalable system with an unprecedented return on investment (ROI).