Fetch Robotics raises $20M to help automate warehouses
Industrial robotics startup Fetch Robotics raised $20 million in Series A funding on Wednesday to fulfill increased demand for warehouse robots.
SoftBank led the round with participation from seed investors O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Shasta Ventures. SoftBank’s Kabir Misra will join Fetch Robotics’ board of directors as part of the investment. The company has raised $23 million to date.
Steve Hogan founded the San Jose-based startup in 2014 to build robot systems to automate warehouses and fulfillment centers. Now headed up by CEO Melonee Wise, the company makes robots designed to work independently alongside human workers, performing repetitive tasks such as picking up items, packing them and warehouse delivery. Wise was one of the earliest employees of robotics company Willow Garage, which developed the world’s first all-purpose personal robot, the PR2.
“I’m delighted to have SoftBank join the team and help us change the world of logistics and material handling,” Wise said in a press release. “SoftBank’s expertise and worldwide resources with respect to technology, production, distribution and more will be a big help to our growing organization.”
The company’s robots, dubbed Fetch, feature a unique arm-and-gripper system designed to rotate 360 degrees. The design allows the robots to autonomously pick most items off warehouse shelves. The company also makes a Freight robot, which can carry the items where they need to go.
The company will use the new capital to expand sales and marketing operations and to meet accelerating demand from warehouses and fulfillment centers.