From Venture Beat By Kyle Wiggers
SVT Robotics, a provider of software that orchestrates robots in warehouses and factories, has raised $25 million in series A funding led by Tiger Global with participation from Prologis Ventures, the company announced this morning. SVT says that it’ll use the new capital to bolster its product R&D and expand its customer outreach efforts.
According to cofounder and CEO A.K. Schultz, SVT’s platform helps customers to solve the growing “interoperability problem” in industrial automation. The industry is severely limited by its capacity to execute, he says. Integrations are typically custom-coded, translating to long, complex development cycles. A recent piece in Industry Today finds that factors ranking among the top concerns of manufacturers adopting automation include a lack of experienced workers to operate the machines, high transition expenses, and safety concerns.
“It’s expensive, and companies wait as much as a year or more for new automation to go live,” Schultz said in a statement. “Solving that problem with [SVT’s platform] empowers the market to grow at its full potential.”
Adoption of automation technologies including robotics has accelerated throughout the pandemic. For example, American Eagle deployed robots to help it sort clothes in its warehouses to meet a surge of online orders. Meanwhile, startup Brain Corp reported that the use of robots to clean retail locations in the U.S. rose 24% in Q2 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
According to Deloitte’s survey on AI adoption in manufacturing, 93% of companies believe that AI will be a pivotal technology to drive growth and innovation in the sector. But not every company is equipped to make the automation transition.
To assist, SVT offers prebuilt integrations and functionality programmed by its various automation partners. Customers select which technologies they want, and SVT designs a robotics solution using drag-and-drop tools. The solution can then be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, depending on the customers’ requirements.
While SVT isn’t without rivals in the over-$150 billion industrial automation space, the three-year-old startup claims that deployments of its platform increased 375% from Q4 2020 to July 2021. Current customers include “top companies” within the warehousing and manufacturing space.
“With no ‘plug-and-play’ integration solution for industrial robotics, warehouses and manufacturers have been prevented from quickly deploying the automation they need to keep pace with the dramatic shifts in labor dynamics we’ve seen over the past year,” Tiger Global partner Griffin Schroeder said in a press release. “With its [platform], SVT is solving this crucial interoperability problem.”