Plus One Robotics (Plus One), which provides artificial intelligence (AI) vision software and solutions for robotic parcel handling, has announced that it has raised US$50M (£41.1m) in Series C funding round to support its development of robots to automate parcel picking processes.
The round was led by Scale Venture Partners, with Top Tier Capital Partners, Tyche Partners, Robo Global Ventures, Translink, McRock, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital also participating in the round.
According to Plus One, this brings the company’s total funding to date to nearly US$100m (£82.2m).
Plus One hopes to help alleviate manual labour shortages through the development of robotic solutions that can streamline the parcel picking and depalletising processes.
What’s more, the company claims its deployments perform more than one million parcel picks each day in production and currently hold an industry-leading metric of more than half a billion parcel picks globally.
“The labour shortage is hitting the shipping industry hard, and parcel picking is an often overlooked yet essential part of the process,” said Rory O’Driscoll, partner at Scale Ventures.
“By automating the parcel handling piece, Plus One Robotics is rapidly modernising an outdated system that’s no longer sustainable. It is stepping up and leading the way in a US$128bn (£105.3m) market, with fundamentals that prove its value.”.
“The growth of e-commerce has placed tremendous pressure on shipping responsiveness and scalability that has significantly exacerbated labor and capacity issues,” said Erik Nieves, CEO and co-founder of Plus One Robotics.
“Automation is key, but keeping a human-in-the-loop is essential to running a business 24/7 with greater speed and fewer errors. With the ongoing labour shortages, I believe we’ll see an increase in the adoption of Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) to lower capital expenditures and deploy automation on a subscription basis. This new funding will help us scale up and meet the need for these solutions.”
Plus One Robotics’ solutions use AI-powered software with end-of-arm robot grippers that provide the perception and manipulation necessary to pick and place parcels.
The software-focused firm attributes its success to ‘human-in-the-loop’ software, which enables employees, remote or on-premises, to supervise multiple robots from any location, speeding up the robot’s ability to handle exceptions and support 24/7 productivity.