InVia Robotics, a company that’s setting out to provide ecommerce fulfillment centers with automated robotics technology, has raised $9 million in a series A round led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Embark Ventures. The figure includes a $3 million loan from Comerica.
Founded out of Westlake Village, California in 2015, InVia Robotics is building what it calls “the next generation of robotics warehouse automation solutions” specifically for ecommerce distribution hubs and supply chains.The InVia picker operates in conjunction with humans to transfer items from shelves and prepare them for dispatch.
Robotics technology is increasingly infiltrating the retail realm as companies seek new ways to optimize their productivity and decrease operational costs. French startup Exotec recently debuted its autonomous Skypod system that uses mobile 3D robots capable of moving in three dimensions, while Marble launched robot-based food delivery trials with a number of companies. U.K. grocery giant Ocado also recently showcased a new picking and packing robot that uses computer vision to determine the best grasp for packing a fragile product without damaging it.
However, InVia Robotics is pitching the accessibility of its subscription-based pricing model, which negates the need for a huge up-front investment from retailers.
“Warehouse automation is critical for ecommerce companies competing against behemoths like Amazon, but the overhead cost of purchasing a fleet of robots to streamline efficiency can be crippling,” said InVia Robotics founder and CEO Lior Elazary….