Unbox Robotics, a leading supply chain robotics technology company, raised $7 million in a Series-A round led by 3one4 Capital with participation from Sixth Sense Ventures and Redstart Labs (Info Edge). The round also saw participation from Unbox Robotics’ founders Pramod Ghadge, Shahid Memon and its CPO Rohit Pitale, alongside its existing investors – US-based venture capital firm SOSV, Arali Ventures, WEH Ventures, BEENEXT, Karthik Bhat’s Force Ventures, Dr Vijay Kedia (Kedia Securities), Aditya Singh (Stride Ventures) and Pavitar Singh (Sprinklr). Other investors who participated in the round include Rahul Chaudhary (Treebo Hotels), Nikhil Vora and Kathan Shah (Sixth Sense Ventures), and Veda VC.
The funds raised will be primarily used to expand the team across functions, fulfil the customer demand internationally, R & D and expand to new geographies. The company has already onboarded some of the largest e-commerce and logistics enterprises as early adopters through trials/pilots and has filed IP for its technology in India, the US and the EU.
Unbox Robotics specialises in robotics-based fulfilment and distribution technology for small to large e-commerce, retail and logistics enterprises. The company’s high-speed robotics solutions are built to consolidate customers’ orders in fulfilment centres, as well as to sort them as per final delivery locations in distribution centres or delivery hubs. Its proprietary plug-and-play Swarm robotics can bring down the deployment time at locations to less than a week. The product’s USP lies in its ability to scan, sort, and dispatch packages in less than 50-70% physical space, while improving personnel productivity by more than 3X and reducing operational cost of package sorting by more than 60%— thereby solving challenges in warehouse management sustainably. The first-of-its-kind system allows users to automate not just bigger facilities with a physical space of a few hundred thousand sq ft, but also automate micro-hubs with less than 2,000 sqft space through an innovative and compact vertical sorting mechanism.
Pramod Ghadge, CEO and Co-Founder of Unbox Robotics, said, “We are obsessed with improving the ways packages are handled, distributed, and delivered to end customers. We believe that there’s a massive potential for building and deploying robotics tech to deliver more packages using smaller footprints at lower operational costs as we see more adoption of e-commerce and Q-commerce (quick commerce) across the globe. Since we launched our beta pilots with leading third-party logistics and e-commerce players in April 2021, we have already got orders from some of the leading e-commerce logistics companies. We are on our way to converting every other pilot or demo into a commercial contract. We will deploy the funds to build an A+ team to help our customers experience the future of logistics, sorting and supply chain across continents.”
“Unbox Robotics takes a novel approach in technology development to crack some of the most critical concerns in customers’ supply chains. We are excited to build a diverse team and further develop outstanding robotics technology for the future of global supply chains,” added Shahid Memon, CTO and Co-Founder of Unbox Robotics.
The founding team of Unbox comes with rich experience in the robotics space. Pramod had earlier implemented India’s first robot-based sorting project at a leading Indian e-commerce company, while Shahid built a robotics company in the past. Unbox Robotics earlier won the India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0 organised by the Government of India, Lockheed Martin and Tata Trusts among 2,000+ startups. The team was also awarded the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship programme by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK.
Speaking on the investment, Anurag Ramdasan, Partner, 3one4 Capital, said, “Globally supply chain and logistics have been reshaped with the growth in e-commerce and D2C over the last decade. Every layer of the stack today requires incredible optimisation and automation today to service the growing demand. Unbox Robotics is doing amazing work in identifying and solving these high-value problems and the team built by Pramod, Shahid and Rohit bring deep domain expertise to tackle this problem at scale. We are highly excited to start this journey with them as they streamline logistics and redefine the space.”
Nikhil Vora, Founder and CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, commented, “We believe the e-commerce and D2C boom is creating a large need for automation solutions within warehouses and FCs, with the industry slated to grow to $32 billion over the next 2-3 years. This coupled with evolving consumer expectations, labour shortage, omnichannel distribution, and technology accessibility has made robotics a priority for both e-commerce and fulfilment companies. Unbox’s compact, vertical, and modular system is well suited for current market needs. Excited to partner with Pramod and Shahid, who bring deep and relevant industry experience as we scale the company together.”
The logistics industry is expected to handle more than 2X the number of shipments in the next 5 years, while the logistics automation market is expected to reach more than $100 billion by 2026. There’s a massive opportunity to serve customers within the urban clusters using the smallest footprint of warehousing facilities possible and cater to customers in tier-2 & 3 cities with same-day deliveries. The market growth is fuelled by exponential growth in e-commerce and the focus on efficient warehousing operations.
About Unbox Robotics:
Unbox Robotics is a leading supply chain robotics technology company, specialising in robotics-based fulfilment and distribution technology for small to large e-commerce, retail and logistics enterprises. The product’s USP lies in its ability to scan, sort, and dispatch packages in less than 50-70% physical space through an innovative and compact vertical sorting mechanism. It helps personnel ramp up productivity by more than 3X — thereby solving challenges in intra-logistics operations sustainably. Unbox Robotics aims to redefine the global future of Sorting, Supply Chain and Logistics. For more information, visit www.unboxrobotics.com
About 3one4 Capital:
3one4 Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund based in Bengaluru, India. The firm works in select market categories and in the intersection of adjacencies that are large, growing, and ready for unique products and services. The themes pursued are SaaS and Enterprise Automation, Direct-to-Consumer products and services, Digital Media, FinTech, and Deep Technology, with a focus on areas such as machine-driven actionable intelligence services for the enterprise, ambient intelligence technologies, edtech, logistics and distribution, consumer products and services, and health.
3one4’s investments are biased towards companies exploiting technology to create, grow, or dominate large markets in India. The fund also invests a portion of its capital in US-focused companies that have feedforward effects into the themes being pursued in India.
Through a deep involvement strategy, the fund works with founding teams and subject-matter experts to prioritize and strategize for product-market fit, and then optimize for defensibility and growth in revenue and impact. With a focus on margins and on delivering uncompromised end-user experiences, the fund aims to reduce risk, detect new growth opportunities, and return rewarding outcomes to all the stakeholders involved.
With its third early-stage fund and its fifth fund overall, the firm now manages a combined corpus of INR 2,300 Cr (USD 300 Mn) and a portfolio of over 70+ investments across the early stage.
About Sixth Sense Ventures:
Sixth Sense Ventures, founded by Nikhil Vora, is India’s first domestic, consumer-focused venture fund – Investing in the Consumer of Tomorrow…Today. Their core philosophy lies in partnering “Early” with first-generation entrepreneurs that are disrupting large and sticky consumer categories and helping them create value by being a good sounding board. Founded in 2014, Sixth Sense Ventures currently manages over $500M across three funds and has been ranked as the top-performing AIFs in India by CRISIL. Both their funds (SSIO I and SSIO II) have been voted amongst the top 5 funds in India over the past decade.
Sixth Sense’s third fund, Sixth Sense India Opportunities III (SSIO III) has completed 17 investments including Parag Milk, Nobel Hygiene, Fraazo, Open Secret, Stylam, GoodDot, Neeman’s, Rage Coffee, Design Cafe, Bira, Storia, Giva, Freecultr, Dogsee Chew, Wonderchef, Vedic Cosmeceuticals, and Unbox Robotics.