Boston startup raises $26M to give warehouse workers a helping (robotic) hand

Written by Brian Nordli
Published on Apr. 23, 2019
Boston startup raises $26M to give warehouse workers a helping (robotic) hand
Locus Robotics
Photo via Locus Robotics

As warehouses nationwide are overrun with e-commerce orders, there simply aren’t enough warehouse workers to keep up.

In fact, the push toward online shopping will generate demand for an additional 452,000 warehouse workers this year, in a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Locus Robotics, has been working to fill that gap. The Wilmington company has created a line of autonomous mobile robots that can work collaboratively alongside humans — and they just raised a $26 million Series C round of funding to build more.

Founder and CEO Rick Faulk said Locus is seeing increased demand both at home and abroad.

“The worldwide market for collaborative robotics will continue to have significant growth as e-commerce accelerates and the labor challenges become more acute,” said Faulk. “While we continue to see strong demand in North America, we’re also seeing significant opportunities coming to us from the European market, including growth of our bigger accounts.”

Locus Robotics launched in 2014. Its robot workforce is designed to pick products and traverse the warehouse to bring goods to packing stations, saving workers time and energy.

The company has provided robots for retail, e-commerce and third-party logistics customers like DHL, GEODIS, Port Logistics Group and more. According to Locus, its robots have helped those companies double or triple their fulfillment productivity while saving them money on operating expenses.

The round will allow the company to build more robots and expand its sales and marketing efforts both nationwide and internationally. Zebra Ventures led the round along with participation from Scale Venture Partners.

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