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Robotics firm GreyOrange raises $140 million from Mithril Capital, Flipkart's Binny Bansal, other investors

GreyOrange, one of the rare hardware startups to come out of India, was founded in 2011 by BITS-Pilani graduates Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 24, 2018  | 10:15 IST
Robotics firm GreyOrange raises $140 million from Mithril Capital, Flipkart's Binny Bansal, other investors

GreyOrange, a multinational tech company that designs, manufactures and deploys advanced robotics systems for automation in warehouses, distribution and fulfillment centres, yesterday announced that it had raised $140 million in a Series-C round. This reportedly marks the largest round ever raised by an industrial robotics company.

According to The Economic Times, Mithril Capital, a venture firm co-founded by Ajay Royan and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who was an early Facebook investor and co-founder of PayPal, led the round. Other existing investors including Flipkart, Mitsubishi, Blume Ventures and Project Verte also participated in the round along with new investor, Binny Bansal, Flipkart's co-founder and Group CEO.

Sources told the daily that the firm's valuation is now estimated to be between $400 million and $500 million. Before this, GreyOrange had raised $35 million. The latest round saw both primary and secondary transactions, and will see Royan join the company's board.

"As online and offline channels converge across a wide range of industries, we are excited to support robotic solutions that thoughtfully bridge the world of bits and the world of atoms, driving better health, safety and efficiency for workers and customers alike," Royan, Managing General Partner of Mithril Capital, said in a statement.

GreyOrange, one of the rare hardware startups to come out of India, was founded in 2011 by BITS-Pilani graduates Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta. The firm now produces up to 1,500 robots a month and has R&D centres in the US, China, Singapore and India.

"We see Mithril as a strategic investor as there is an alignment with their core technology focus. The investment from Flipkart will strengthen our relationship," GreyOrange CEO Kohli told the daily, while declining to comment on the valuation.

"As an entrepreneur myself, I have closely followed how Samay and Akash have built and grown GreyOrange to become an international technology company with customers across the world. I look forward to supporting and witnessing the new phase of their growth. The team will build on its strengths, especially in AI and machine learning, to launch new generation products for flexible automation," said Bansal.

The fresh funds will enable GreyOrange to fulfill its vision of developing and deploying intuitive, flexible and scalable solutions for end-to-end automation across the supply chain and maintain its market-leading position.

The firm added in a statement that it plans to build on the strong growth it has experienced over the past five years by expanding operations across Asia, Europe and the US. To that end, GreyOrange recently established its US headquarters and manufacturing facility in Atlanta, Georgia, and launched a major R&D centre in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Gurugram-headquartered company counts Flipkart, along with its subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong, Pepperfry, Aramex, DTDC, Delhivery and Mahindra Tractors among its domestic customers. The daily added that the Indian market currently contributes 10% to the company's global business. The company's overseas customers include Kerry Logistics (Hong Kong), Ninja Van (Singapore), Nitori, Trusco and Daiwa (Japan), Loggi (Brazil), and Pos Indonesia (Indonesia).

GreyOrange has developed two flagship offerings, Butler and Linear Sorter. The former helps in automated inventory storage and replenishment, picking and combining orders in fulfilment and distribution centres, while 'Sorter', as the name suggests, helps in sorting orders and routes packages based on weight, volume, destination or any predefined parameter.

A corporate video from the company last year had claimed that its Artificial Intelligence-powered robotics system can result in a 60-80% reduction in manpower.

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