WALTHAM, MASS., JANUARY 7, 2020 – Vecna Robotics, the leading workflow orchestration and self-driving forklift provider, announced it raised $50 million in Series B funding. With double-digit annual growth forecast for the mobile robot market over the next five years, the new capital will expand Vecna Robotics’ industry-leading footprint and accelerate the development of new product offerings. This round is led by Blackhorn Ventures, with participation from new investors Highland Capital and Fontinalis Partners, and additional funding from existing investors Drive Capital and Tectonic Ventures.
Workflows are the driving force behind every business that deals with physical goods, from wholesale to retail, from manufacturing to warehousing and distribution. Vecna Robotics’ solutions focus on maximizing workflow efficiency with fully autonomous pallet trucks and tow tractors combined with PivotalTM, the world’s first AI-based orchestration agent. More than a fleet manager, PivotaI also interfaces with human workers and other equipment to increase job satisfaction, optimize freight capacity, increase warehouse capacity and help eliminate waste.
In the last year, Vecna Robotics deployed its robot and software solutions in many of the world’s leading distribution centers with deployments at FedEx Ground, Milton CAT, DHL Supply Chain, GEODIS, Medline and many others. This new capital will help Vecna Robotics continue to rapidly scale its products and services to the material handling market which faces both a growing labor shortage and increased competitive pressures.
“Vecna Robotics’ focus on the Pivotal platform and innovative AMRs to create unprecedented resource productivity for industrial applications is strongly aligned with our investment strategy,” said Trevor Zimmerman of Blackhorn Ventures. “We are excited to be a part of their growth.”
With this investment, Trevor Zimmerman of Blackhorn Ventures and Bob Davis of Highland Capital will join Vecna Robotics’ Board of Directors.
“In speaking with Vecna Robotics’ customers, it was clear that the company offers best-in-class solutions and services. The company has an industry leading position in a $100 billion market and we look forward to working with them as they revolutionize material handling around the world,” said Bob Davis of Highland Capital.
Chris Cheever, Founder & Partner at Fontinalis, echoed this view. “Vecna is executing brilliantly at the intersection of key trends we are interested in as a mobility investor, namely the power of automation and increasing e-commerce disruption of supply chains,” said Cheever.
Vecna Robotics’ products are helping organizations such as Medline increase efficiency and safety. “Our confidence in the team and its vision for safe, effective human-robot collaboration within a warehouse environment grew as our partnership evolved. This vision supports the future needs of our team members and our customers,” said Daniel Schwartz, Regional Vice President of Operations at Medline, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical products, services and solutions. “Vecna Robotics’ solution takes a lot of dead travel in our warehouse super-centers out of our team’s days so they can focus on more skilled work.”
In working with a number of strategic partners including UniCarriers Americas, one of the largest manufacturers of material handling equipment in the world, and RICOH, the leading support provider with four thousand boots-on-the-ground technicians nationwide, Vecna Robotics is positioned with a complete ecosystem necessary for rapid growth and ability to consistently meet customer needs.
“We’re thrilled to have Blackhorn, Highland and Fontinalis share our vision for the future of the material handling industry. A highly orchestrated solution that leverages the best of robots, manually-operated equipment and the irreplaceable human factor is the key to long-term success for our customers,” said Daniel Theobald, Founder and CEO, Vecna Robotics. “This investment cements our position as the world’s leading material handling automation company and helps accelerate our growth strategy in the coming year and beyond.”
ABOUT VECNA ROBOTICS
Vecna Robotics delivers autonomous material handling solutions via self-driving vehicles powered by their proprietary continuously improving software, Pivotal™, and 24/7 customer service team. Vecna Robotics’ solutions deliver value for customers in the distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors by automating cross-docking, line-side delivery, replenishment, case-picking, kitting, goods-to-person, person-to-good, and oversized/non-standard SKUs delivery. Vecna Robotics’ technology goes beyond traditional automation and focuses on maximizing human and robot coordination to create fulfilling jobs, increase productivity, and encourage innovation.
ABOUT BLACKHORN VENTURES
Blackhorn Ventures invests in companies advancing breakthrough technologies and innovative business models to unlock transformative efficiency improvements in industrial sectors. Built upon the ICT revolution and creative thinking, these companies are rapidly transforming industrial sectors, while also achieving outsized environmental and sustainability impacts. Founded by experienced operators and investors, Blackhorn has a founder-friendly ethos, providing maximum support with minimum interference.