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December 14, 2023
Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund has led an investment round for customer fulfillment robots company, Instock, to help ramp up the development of its automation technology.
The California-based company said it closed the seed round with $3.2 million, bringing its total funding to $6.2 million.
The funds will be used to continue the development and rollout of its automation technologies, using “gravity-defying” robots to automate storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), according to Instock.
Instock’s system involves a modular racking infrastructure which autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) can drive along, collecting bins on their way and transporting them to operators picking and packing orders at ground-level workstations.
“Our mission is to empower business operators with radically accessible goods-to-person automation,” said Rebecca Dyer, Instock’s chief of operations. “We provide a tool for high-density storage and quick retrieval of goods that is affordable, easy to use and delivers value on Day 1.”
Instock said it will launch its first production system in North America in January 2024.
"There is a growing need for highly automated, space-efficient buildings in logistics,” said Franziska Bossart, Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund’s head, when speaking of Amazon’s decision to invest. “Instock’s ASRS capabilities have the potential to improve the number of shipments per day and storage density in space-constrained environments – all of which can enable faster delivery to customers and lower costs.
“Part of what makes Instock’s ASRS unique is that it can be easily retrofitted into existing environments, allowing for plug-and-play automation in a wide variety of building types. We’re excited to support Instock’s vision as they scale and offer production systems more broadly.”
The latest funding round was also led by OneWay Ventures and Lux Capital, with funding participation from Commerce VC, u.ventures, Cybernetix Ventures and “other investors active in the robotics and eCommerce ecosystem.”
Assistant Editor, IoT World Today
Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.
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