Locus Robotics, which makes autonomous robots for use in fulfillment centers and warehouses, said Wednesday it has landed $150 million in Series E funding led by investment firm Tiger Global Management and IT investment firm Bond.
The funding round brings to more than $260 million the amount that Wilmington, Massachusetts-based Locus has raised. Company executives say that Locus will ultimately go public but that a timetable for such an event has not been determined.
Companies such as Locus are in a sweet spot as demand for warehouse technology has soared due to the surge in e-commerce growth, a shortage of labor to fill an expanding warehouse footprint, and the ability of robotics applications to accelerate fulfillment productivity with near 100% accuracy, a must for businesses looking to meet ultra-tight fulfillment and delivery timetables.
More than 1 million warehouse robots will be installed worldwide over the next four years, with the number of warehouses utilizing the technology expected to grow tenfold, according to Interact Analysis, a market research firm whose data was cited by Locus in Wednesday’s announcement.
Robotics are “massively underpenetrated” in the warehouse and fulfillment sectors today, said Ash Sharma, Interact’s managing director.
Locus currently deploys more than 4,000 robots in more than 80 global locations. The company said it expects to double the number of deployed robots within the next 12 months.
Other investors in Locus include Prologis Ventures, the venture capital arm of logistics warehouse giant Prologis (PLD), and Scale Venture Partners. (Prologis Ventures is an investor in FreightWaves.)