PEdaily, a VC/PE media outlet, reported today that ForwardX Robotics (灵动科技), an AMR developer, has announced a Series C+ round of funding valued at 200 million yuan (US$27.82 million).
This brings the total amount of Series C funding to 650 million yuan.
The latest round was backed by Anhui State-owned Capital Operation Holding Co. Ltd, Hefei Hi-Tech VC, and Hefei Industry Investment Group, with proceeds going primarily to new product R&D, overseas market expansion, commercial delivery and supply chain deployment.
ForwardX, based in Beijing, claims to be a pioneer and leader in the fourth-generation visual AMR technologies. The company says it is the only AMR builder capable of providing systemic and end-to-end solutions on four continents.
What sets it apart from leading industry players like Geek+ (极智嘉) and Quicktron Robotics (快仓科技) is that ForwardX specializes in the manufacturing of visual AMRs and the development of a robot fleet dispatch system.
They will supply end-to-end automation solutions for clients with a logistics and manufacturing background.
To date, ForwardX has deployed close to 3,000 visual AMRs in Asia, the Americas, Australia and Europe, and completed delivery of 150 commercial projects, with a repeat purchase rate of 100%. It is the largest order-to-person solution provider by shipment and market share in Asia, public information shows.
Since its inception seven years ago, ForwardX has raised an aggregate 1 billion yuan in equity funds. After years of development, the startup has ventured beyond applications in logistics and automobile into other segments, thanks to its customized and scalable technologies, says a company statement.
“The high-speed growth in the AMR domain sends a clear signal of increasing maturity of the warehouse automation market,” said Qi Ou, founder and CEO of ForwardX. “It is no longer a choice but a must for Chinese AMR firms to go global.”
ForwardX is one of the few domestic suppliers of automated order-to-person picking solutions, according to a statement from Anhui State-owned Capital Operation Holding Co. Ltd.
It adds that the firm’s fourth-generation AMR and proprietary fleet dispatch system will help to enhance efficiency and cut costs.
Under ForwardX’s comprehensive goods-to-person robotic picking system, AMRs will pilot themselves to the designated spots inside a warehouse on an optimal route, awaiting picking missions. This saves human pickers the time and effort to move about the warehouse, thereby passing on labor cost reduction to operators.
The order-to-person picking option has become a favorite due to its high degree of flexibility across a variety of business-oriented and even consumer-facing application scenarios.
This is especially the case when packages of different sizes are mixed together, forcing employees to sort through a pile of goods, which is time-consuming and inefficient.