September 12, 2019
Retail inventory solution provider Simbe Robotics announced that they have secured $26M in series A funding in two separate funding deals – a Series A equity financing round and an inventory financing agreement with SoftBank Robotics. As part of the deal, three industry experts join Simbe’s governing Board of Directors, bringing more credibility to their solution and guidance to the team.
Robots as a Service is a capital heavy business model
The San Francisco based autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution provider has seen growing acceptance of their Tally robotic solution over the last year, and this funding round should provide the necessary funding to grow with their customer base. Simbe offers their solution in a robots-as-a-service business model, which means that retail customers never own the robots, they only pay for the inventory data acquired from their stores by Simbe. Simbe also offers full support for the deployment and maintenance of the systems deployed on site. As a result, Simbe must continue to build both the fleet of robots and the field staff to support deployments. This is the most significant funding round yet by Simbe, and it brings much needed cash to the organization so that they can build out their fleet of robots which get deployed in customer facilities.
The $26 million Series A was led by Venrock with participation from Future Shape, Valo Ventures, and Activant Capital. These investors have a deep understanding of the retail, robotics, and technology industries and will support Simbe with invaluable knowledge and guidance as the company begins a new phase of growth. The equity capital will go toward business operations including growing the team of world-class talent; scaling sales, marketing and customer success functions; and continued investment in R&D.
“The Simbe team is building one of the most interesting datasets in retail, capturing inventory and pricing data that hasn't been available before. With Simbe, retail stores can free up scarce labor to spend more time doing high-value activities like interacting with customers. Retail is changing, and stores must modernize to succeed in today’s environment,” said David Pakman, partner at Venrock and Simbe board member. “The Simbe team has impressed me from the start, and they are uniquely equipped to bring this new reality to retail.”
New Board Members
With the close of the Series A financing, Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape, iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor and Founder of Nest; David Pakman, Partner at Venrock; and Ryan Gembala, Managing Partner at Pathbreaker Ventures will be joining Simbe’s Board of Directors. These additions will bring fresh guidance and experience to the boardroom, helping to ensure that Simbe is on a trajectory of growth.
Strengthening the Channel
Also of significance in the announcement is an expansion of the one year old channel partnership between Simbe and SofBank Robotics America. With this deal, SBR and Simbe will expand their collaboration to include inventory financing, accelerating Simbe’s global deployment of its fully autonomous retail robot, Tally. The funds will support scaled manufacturing of an additional 1,000 Tally units over the coming two years. SoftBank Robotics has deployed more than 25,000 robots globally and has the infrastructure in place to support Simbe’s need to scale manufacturing, shipping, deployment, and field services of Tally robots globally.
For More Information
Read the full press release here.
Learn more about Robots as a Service for autonomous mobile robots.
Read our vendor overview of Simbe Robotics.
Visit the Simbe Robotics Website.