Takeoff Technologies raises $25M for e-grocery automation

The Robot Report
Takeoff Technologies

Takeoff Technologies is developing automated micro fulfillment centers for grocers. | Credit: Takeoff Technologies

Takeoff Technologies, a Waltham, Mass.-based developer of automated grocery fulfillment solutions, raised $25 million in Series C funding. The round, led by Forrestal Capital, was for 5 percent of the company at a $500 million valuation. Takeoff Technologies has now raised $86 million in funding since it was founded in 2016.

Takeoff, which licenses its robotics technology from Knapp, said the funding will help it scale across North America, Europe and Australia. It will also help with development of Version 2 of its microfulfillment solution (MFC) that is expected to roll out sometime in 2020. The MFCs store groceries in compact, vertical rows, using robots to pull groceries and assemble the orders. Takeoff said orders of up to 60 grocery items can be assembled in minutes.

“Both the Series C funding and the MFC Version 2.0 mark Takeoff Technologies as a continually growing force in the industry,” said Takeoff Technologies Co-Founder and President Max Pedró. “The vision of accessible and fast online groceries is no longer a dream. We are making it happen.”

Related: Shopify acquires 6 Rivery Systems for $450M

Takeoff Technologies said Version 2.0 of the MFC will feature a smaller and cleaner design for easier integration. Version 2.0 will allow for 6 percent faster order picking, while increasing storage capacity. It will also introduce the use of autonomous mobile robots known as “open shuttles” to roll independently within the center.

Takeoff has announced partnerships in the US with Albertsons, Ahold Delhaize, Wakefern, Sedano’s and in Australia with Woolworths, with additional domestic and international partners to be disclosed in the near future. Takeoff has said its centers cost about $4 million to install, but they can generate annual sales of $30 million-$50 million.

“Version 2.0 takes all of the innovative features from our original design and optimizes them,” says co-founder and CEO José Vicente Aguerrevere. “We are constantly working to provide the maximum capabilities and service to our retail clients.”

Related: Robotics investments recap August 2019

Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, is piloting its own in-store microfulfillment center that uses Alert Innovation’s Alphabot. Alert recently announced a partnership with Muratec to support Alphabot applications that move beyond grocery retail.

The Robot Report has launched the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum, which will be on Dec. 9-10 in Santa Clara, Calif. The conference and expo focuses on improving the design, development and manufacture of next-generation healthcare robots. Learn more about the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum.

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