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E-commerce & FulfillmentModern ShipperNewsRecent NewsTechnology

Zebra Technologies to acquire warehouse automation firm Fetch Robotics

$290 million purchase brings robotic solutions into Zebra’s expanding enterprise solutions portfolio

Zebra Technologies, which provides everything from mobile computers and printers to data capture and machine learning systems and even temperature monitoring and sensing technologies, is adding warehouse robotics to its portfolio.

The Illinois-based global company will acquire Fetch Robotics, an on-demand warehouse automation provider, for $290 million in cash. Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) already owns 5% of Fetch. The transaction is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter.

“The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our enterprise asset intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments,” said Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies. “This move will also extend our ongoing commitment to optimize the supply chain from the point of production to the point of consumption. We are excited to welcome the Fetch team to the Zebra family.”

Fetch offers autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to optimize picking in fulfillment and distribution centers to enable just-in-time material delivery. Its robotics solutions cover operations in manufacturing, fulfillment and distribution centers.

The company offers 10 separate AMR products, including cart collection robots, pallet systems and robots to automate facility disinfection.

Fetch also offers a cloud-based enterprise software solution, FetchCore, that integrates a range of automated workflows into manufacturing and warehouse operations. The solution will combine with Zebra’s existing automated workflow solutions, FulfillmentEdge and SmartSight.

Fetch was founded in 2014 in San Jose, California.

“The Fetch team is excited to join Zebra and accelerate the adoption of flexible automation through AMRs and our cloud-based robotics platform. Together we have the right team with the right technology to provide end-to-end solutions that solve real customer problems,” said Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “By helping customers dynamically optimize and holistically orchestrate their fulfillment, distribution and manufacturing operations, together we help enable their ability to stay ahead of growing demand, minimize delivery times and address shrinking labor pools.”

Zebra Ventures is an investor in Fetch, which has raised $94 million across four funding rounds. Its most recent round was a $46 million Series C in July 2019, led by Fort Ross Ventures, according to Crunchbase. Other investors include Sway Ventures, Softbank, Oreilly AlphaTech Ventures and Shasta Ventures.

According to a release announcing the acquisition, Zebra has an annual run rate of approximately $10 million.

“Our goal is to give robots and people the opportunity to do their very best work,” said Bill Burns, chief product and solutions officer at Zebra Technologies. “This acquisition is a continuation of what we expect to be a series of innovations that reflect our commitment to creating solutions that help our customers improve their operations through robotics.”

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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