Ware, a technology startup deploying autonomous drones for warehouse inventory counting, has closed $2.5 million in seed-round funding, led by UP Partners, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, 2048 Ventures, Tom McInerney—angel investor in companies like Uber—and drone industry expert Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio. The funding will be used for building out the team (hint: Ware is hiring) to further Ware’s artificial intelligence capabilities and support customers as they deploy their technology.
Ware Robotics Has a Novel Solution
Ware has developed an autonomous warehouse inventory counting solution, designed to enable real-time inventory management. Ware's novel approach to the warehouse inventory problem includes the use of Skydio drones as the acquisition platform. Skydio is unique because it uses vision guidance and artificial intelligence (AI) to avoid hitting obstacles. Skydio was the first drone company to demonstrate autonomous obstacle avoidance in the "holy-grail" application of following a mountain biker in real-time, through a grove of trees. In the warehouse, Ware takes advantage of this core platform capability to navigate throughout the warehouse without hitting any structures, fork trucks or humans. The partnership with Skydio becomes even stronger with this funding round as Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio, is one of the investors.
Ware's flagship product enables organizations to perform inventory tracking and warehouse tasks more efficiently with automation. Specifically, Ware combines drones’ ability to quickly access and capture data of an entire facility, then apply proprietary algorithmic data processing to deliver accurate reports, ultimately transforming the way warehouses and distribution centers count and manage their inventory. This is especially important as increased consumer e-commerce spending due to COVID-19 has created additional stresses for warehouses.
Ware Robotics Funding Will Support Product Roadmap
“Understanding the true state of inventory in today’s massive warehouses requires a significant amount of manual labor and time-consuming routines,” notes Ware’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Smith. “Our investors understand how Ware is meeting this challenge. Their support is especially gratifying amidst the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the stress it has exerted on global supply chains.”
Ware Robotics was given an "Technology Innovation" award in the recently published Warehouse Solutions Buyers Guide, from The Mobile Robot Guide. Ware was one of only two drone based solutions to be featured in the Buyers Guide, and it was the only drone vendor to receive a technology innovation award.
Automating warehouse cycle counts with Ware is a 3-step process:
Self-flying drones soar throughout the warehouse, collecting images of pallet locations, data from barcodes, and other inventory information.
With their pre-programmed flight pattern completed, the drones return to their “Nests” inside the warehouse, where they recharge and transmit their cargo of data to Ware’s cloud.
Ware’s processing engine analyzes the drone imagery, distills the data, and delivers it into an easy-to-use format. Interactive reports in Ware’s cloud software are provided to inventory control teams to make decisions with and take action on.
The software’s dashboard displays an AI-assisted visual audit log of the warehouse’s entire inventory. Managers can extrapolate accurate inventory quantities for each pallet by viewing the presented data and be alerted to issues that Ware’s processing engine finds and bubbles up to the top. As Ware collects more information from a range of warehouses, it will achieve a critical mass of third-party data it can use to enrich customer’s operations and customize workflow, automate inventory reorder triggers, precisely assign cost centers, and drive more intelligent supply chain processes.