In recent years, the retail category has become one of the largest and most well-funded categories of robotics – especially when combined with connected verticals, such as service and warehouse logistics. Berkshire Gray flew mainly under the radar, but is starting 2020 with some very considerable funding news.
The Massachusetts-based company has just announced a high $ 263 million Series B. The round is led by Softbank, which has been interested in robotics lately, together with the participation of Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Canaan.
Despite having a name that sounds like a financial holding company, Berkshire Gray displayed some very sophisticated robots. It is positioned particularly well in the warehouse space, making it a competitor with companies like Amazon Robotics and Fetch. Like the others, Berkshire's argument focuses mainly on issues of labor shortages in high-intensity jobs, while claiming to increase e-commerce operations by 70% to 80%.
"Our customers at leading retail, e-commerce and logistics companies are choosing Berkshire Gray as a competitive differentiator," said founder and CEO Tom Wagner in a statement linked to the news. "With our intelligent robotic automation, our customers see faster and more efficient supply chain operations that enable them to meet the needs of today's most experienced consumers."
The financing follows recent rounds of companies like Bossa Nova, Osaro Realtime and a $ 23 million increase by Soft Robotics earlier this week. Berkshire says the money will be directed towards increasing employee numbers, acquisitions and a boost to international growth.