China’s logistics robotics firm Geek+ (极智嘉) announced it edges closer to Series C1 round of funding on July 7. The deal is valued at more than USD 150 million, led by GGV Capital and global venture capital D1, followed by its existing investors including Warburg Pincus. Several strategic investors reached out to the firm, the company’s CEO and founder Zheng Yong (郑勇) added.
The transaction will be another record-setting funding in logistics robotics. Last December, the robot-maker raised USD 150 million from Warburg Pincus in its Series B round.
Founded in 2015, Geek+ integrates Robotics, AI, big data, cloud computing, and IoT technologies to provide intelligent robotics solutions and intelligent supply chain services. The firm is capable of helping clients from e-commerce, logistics, automotive, fast fashion and manufacturing achieve highly-automated warehouses and factories.
As consumption upgrade continues to drive up demand for fresh foods, cross-border goods, and same-day delivery, demand for smart warehousing soars. On the other hand, warehouses are considered to be one of the most suitable scenarios that unmanned robots can be applied to, where they replace human beings in repetitive works such as sorting and lifting.
Several competitors and potential partners are out there: InVia and Fetch are selling robotics-as-a-service and robots, and Amazon, which acquired Kiva for USD 775 million in 2012 to build out its own intelligent warehouses.
In China, Hik Robot, an arm of surveillance giant Hikvision (海康威视), also works on warehousing robots. It cooperates with courier and delivery service companies like Shentong Express to deploy robots in their warehouses.
Megvii (formerly known as Face++, 旷视科技), which is currently considering IPO, acquired Ares Robot last year and announced its foray into intelligent robots. JD.com touts its automatic warehouses. Alibaba’s Cainiao uses fulfillment robots to move goods around the warehouses.