Vecna Robotics raises $50M to scale logistics automation business

Vecna Robotics, a 2019 RBR50 company, raised $50 million in Series B funding. The new funding will be used to hire staff and develop and scale products to meet the growing of logistics automation.

The Series B was led by Blackhorn Ventures, with participation from new investors Highland Capital Partners and Fontinalis Partners and existing investors Drive Capital and Tectonic Ventures. Vecna Robotics, which was founded by industry veteran Daniel Theobald, closed a $13.5 million Series A in August 2018.

Vecna Robotics develops autonomous mobiles robots (AMRs) for materials handling, including conveyors, pallet jacks and tuggers. It also has a fleet management and software platform, Pivotal, that distributes tasks in real time, adjusts workflow processes, shares information between workers and robots and integrates with legacy automation, piece-picking robots, WMS, and MES systems. Vecna Robotics can also turning existing machines into AMRs. It is collaborating with UniCarriers Americas, a division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to create a line of AMRs for warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing environments.

Trevor Zimmerman of Blackhorn Ventures and Bob Davis of Highland Capital will join Vecna Robotics’ board of Directors. “Vecna Robotics’ focus on the Pivotal platform and innovative AMRs to create unprecedented resource productivity for industrial applications is strongly aligned with our investment strategy,” said Trevor Zimmerman of Blackhorn Ventures. “We are excited to be a part of their growth.”

“Our confidence in the team and its vision for safe, effective human-robot collaboration within a warehouse environment grew as our partnership evolved. This vision supports the future needs of our team members and our customers,” said Daniel Schwartz, Regional Vice President of Operations at Medline, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical products, services and solutions. “Vecna Robotics’ solution takes a lot of dead travel in our warehouse super-centers out of our team’s days so they can focus on more skilled work.”

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“We’re thrilled to have Blackhorn, Highland and Fontinalis share our vision for the future of the material handling industry. A highly orchestrated solution that leverages the best of robots, manually-operated equipment and the irreplaceable human factor is the key to long-term success for our customers,” said Theobald in a statement. “This investment cements our position as the world’s leading material handling automation company and helps accelerate our growth strategy in the coming year and beyond.”

Vecna Robotics spun off from parent company Vecna Technologies in 2018. According to The Wall Street Journal, Vecna Robotics has about 90 employees and last year generated $6 million in revenue from customers, including FedEx, Medline Industries, and Caterpillar distributor Milton CAT. Vecna Robotics was originally located in Cambridge, but it opened its new headquarters in Waltham in September 2019. Our sister publication The Robot Report recently moderated an for robotics startups at the new headquarters and shared advice from some of Boston’s top robotics experts.

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