Unbox Robotics, a leading supply chain robotics technology company, raised $7 million in a Series-A round led by 3one4 Capital with participation from Sixth Sense Ventures and Redstart Labs (Info Edge). The round also saw participation from Unbox Robotics’ founders Pramod Ghadge, Shahid Memon and its CPO Rohit Pitale, alongside its existing investors – US-based venture capital firm SOSV, Arali Ventures, WEH Ventures, BEENEXT, Karthik Bhat’s Force Ventures, Dr Vijay Kedia (Kedia Securities), Aditya Singh (Stride Ventures) and Pavitar Singh (Sprinklr). Other investors who participated in the round include Rahul Chaudhary (Treebo Hotels), Nikhil Vora and Kathan Shah (Sixth Sense Ventures), and Veda VC.
The funds raised will be primarily used to expand the team across functions, fulfill the customer demand internationally, R & D and expand to new geographies. The company has already onboarded some of the largest e-commerce and logistics enterprises as early adopters through trials/pilots and has filed IP for its technology in India, the US and the EU.
Unbox Robotics specialises in robotics-based fulfilment and distribution technology for small to large e-commerce, retail and logistics enterprises. The company’s high-speed robotics solutions are built to consolidate customers’ orders in fulfilment centres, as well as to sort them as per final delivery locations in distribution centres or delivery hubs. Its proprietary plug-and-play Swarm robotics can bring down the deployment time at locations to less than a week. The product’s USP lies in its ability to scan, sort, and dispatch packages in less than 50-70% physical space, while improving personnel productivity by more than 3X and reducing operational cost of package sorting by more than 60%— thereby solving challenges in warehouse management sustainably. The first-of-its-kind system allows users to automate not just bigger facilities with a physical space of a few hundred thousand sq ft, but also automate micro-hubs with less than 2,000 sqft space through an innovative and compact vertical sorting mechanism.
Pramod Ghadge, CEO and Co-Founder of Unbox Robotics, said, “We are obsessed with improving the ways packages are handled, distributed, and delivered to end customers. We believe that there’s a massive potential for building and deploying robotics tech to deliver more packages using smaller footprints at lower operational costs as we see more adoption of e-commerce and Q-commerce (quick commerce) across the globe. Since we launched our beta pilots with leading third-party logistics and e-commerce players in April 2021, we have already got orders from some of the leading e-commerce logistics companies. We are on our way to converting every other pilot or demo into a commercial contract. We will deploy the funds to build an A+ team to help our customers experience the future of logistics, sorting and supply chain across continents.”
“Unbox Robotics takes a novel approach in technology development to crack some of the most critical concerns in customers’ supply chains. We are excited to build a diverse team and further develop outstanding robotics technology for the future of global supply chains,” added Shahid Memon, CTO and Co-Founder of Unbox Robotics.
The founding team of Unbox comes with rich experience in the robotics space. Pramod had earlier implemented India’s first robot-based sorting project at a leading Indian e-commerce company, while Shahid built a robotics company in the past. Unbox Robotics earlier won the India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 organised by the Government of India, Lockheed Martin and Tata Trusts among 2,000+ startups. The team was also awarded the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship programme by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK.
Speaking on the investment, Anurag Ramdasan, Partner, 3one4 Capital, said, “Globally supply chain and logistics have been reshaped with the growth in e-commerce and D2C over the last decade. Every layer of the stack today requires incredible optimisation and automation today to service the growing demand. Unbox Robotics is doing amazing work in identifying and solving these high-value problems and the team built by Pramod, Shahid and Rohit bring deep domain expertise to tackle this problem at scale. We are highly excited to start this journey with them as they streamline logistics and redefine the space.”
Nikhil Vora, Founder and CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, commented, “We believe the e-commerce and D2C boom is creating a large need for automation solutions within warehouses and FCs, with the industry slated to grow to $32 billion over the next 2-3 years. This coupled with evolving consumer expectations, labour shortage, omnichannel distribution, and technology accessibility has made robotics a priority for both e-commerce and fulfilment companies. Unbox’s compact, vertical, and modular system is well suited for current market needs. Excited to partner with Pramod and Shahid, who bring deep and relevant industry experience as we scale the company together.”
The logistics industry is expected to handle more than 2X the number of shipments in the next 5 years, while the logistics automation market is expected to reach more than $100 billion by 2026. There’s a massive opportunity to serve customers within the urban clusters using the smallest footprint of warehousing facilities possible and cater to customers in tier-2 & 3 cities with same-day deliveries. The market growth is fuelled by exponential growth in e-commerce and the focus on efficient warehousing operations.