Ontario Teachers’ invests in warehouse robotics firm inspired by ant colonies

Ontario Teachers’ invests in warehouse robotics firm inspired by ant colonies

CALGARY — A Calgary-based firm that bases its warehouse robotics system on the structure of ant colonies says it has attracted US$50 million in funding from a group led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

Attabotics employs robotic shuttles moving inside a vertical structure to store and fetch goods from within for workers on the perimeter.

It says its system can reduce a retailer’s warehouse footprint by up to 85 per cent, allowing the company to place warehouses closer to city centres for faster delivery times while lowering real estate costs.

The company says its total funding is now at US$82.7 million and it plans to use the new funds to accelerate commercial deployment, invest in new technologies and scale manufacturing operations.

Attabotics says it currently has six installations in North America serving customers including U.S. retailer Nordstrom, and it partners with Microsoft for cloud-based supply chain management on the Azure platform.

The Ontario Teachers’ investment is being made through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, which focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in technology companies.

The funding round also includes existing investor Honeywell.

“We are excited by the opportunity to become a long-term investor because we believe in Attabotics’ differentiated technology and highly skilled team, and how this combination is poised to disrupt existing cube storage solutions currently available in the market,” said Olivia Steedman, senior managing director of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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