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E-commerce & FulfillmentModern ShipperNewsRecent NewsTechnology

Warehouse robotics firm Hai Robotics secures $200M in funding

Total money for Chinese company comes from pair of consecutive funding rounds

Hai Robotics announced on Tuesday $200 million in funding through two new continuous rounds of funding.

A Series C round of funding was led by 5Y Capital with participation from Sequoia Capital China, Source Code Capital, VMS, Walden International and Scheme Capital. The Series D round of funding was led by Capital Today, with existing investors including Sequoia Capital China, 5Y Capital, Source Code Capital, Legend Star and 01VC.

In March, 5Y Capital led a $15 million Series B+ round in Hai along with participation from existing investors Source Code Capital and Walden International.

The company did not release a new valuation, but in July, The Information reported the company was working on a $150 million funding round that would value the company at $1.3 billion.

“Our major future orientation will center on expanding the overseas market and localize our service,” Richie Chen, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Hai specializes in autonomous case-handling robotic systems (ACR), launching its first such system, the Haipick, in 2015. The Haipick uses ACR to store and retrieve up to eight cases at a time in tall, narrow storage aisles. By condensing aisles, the Hai system is able to increase storage density between 80% and 130% while improving warehouse efficiency by as much as four times, the company said.

Once cases are retrieved, the robots work in a goods-to-person framework, moving inventory into position to fuel order fulfillment and other logistics processes.

Hai said that its solutions lead to an increase in productivity of between three and four times for warehouse operators and increase storage capacity as much as 230% as compared to manually operated warehouses. The company has been running over 200 projects around the globe with more than 2,000 ACR robots deployed, accounting for 90% share in the ACR robot market, it said.


Read: Hai Robotics seeking $150M investment at $1.3B valuation

Read: Geek+ surpasses 20,000 autonomous robots


In March, Hai announced a partnership with MHS, a material handling automation and software solutions provider, to bring its HAI systems to North America. The company also has partnerships with Bettaroe Robotics to market its robotics solutions in Europe, with the Smart Logistics Business Unit of LG CNS in South Korea and with Mujin to sell in Japan.

Warehouse automation saw 50% growth in venture capital investment in 2020, and the global warehouse robotics sector is expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2025. Despite the increasing pressure for speed and accuracy that e-commerce has generated, 80% of warehouses are still manually operated with no supporting automation, according to DHL.

Exotec announced a $90 million fundraising round last fall, led by 83North with participation from Dell Technologies Capital and existing investors Iris Capital and Breega. In June 2020, Geek+ announced the closing of a $200 million Series C investment round led by GGV Capital, D1 Capital Partners along with Warburg Pincus.

In July, Berkshire Grey (NASDAQ: BGRY) went public and Zebra Technologies announced it was acquiring Fetch Robotics, an on-demand warehouse automation provider, for $290 million in cash. 

Click for more Modern Shipper articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight, managing editor, Modern Shipper

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at bstraight@freightwaves.com.

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