One of the most immediate — and already live — applications for robotics and artificial intelligence in general has been in using unmanned robots in warehouses and other environments, where they replace humans in repetitive jobs such as sorting and moving objects from A to B. Now, Beijing-based robotics startup Geek Plus (aka Geek+) says that it has raised $150 million to seize that growing opportunity by investing in product development, sales and customer service.
Geek Plus says that this is the largest-ever funding round for a logistics robotics startup. (Indeed, according to PitchBook, the highest-ever round for industrial robots prior to this was just over $25 million for Locus Robotics out of Boston.)
The round, a Series B, was led by Warburg Pincus, with participation from other shareholders including Volcanics Venture and Vertex Ventures. The company is not disclosing its valuation but we have asked and will update as we learn more. Warburg Pincus led the startup’s previous round of $60 million in 2017, and Geek Plus has raised around $217 million since being founded in 2015.
Part of the reason for this large round is because the company says its on track for a big year, projecting to growth business five-fold, and it wants to capitalise on that growth both inside its own giant home market of Mainland China as well as further afield.
To date, Geek Plus says that it has delivered more than 5,000 robots across some 100 robotics warehouse projects in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Europe, and the United States. Current customers include Alibaba’s Tmall out of Asia. Read more