Lille-based Exotec, a European pioneer in global warehouse robotics, has just received a mega funding round of €293 million, becoming France’s first industrial unicorn for its robotic systems that are improving supply chain resilience for global retailers.
The Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round with follow-on investments from 83North and Dell Technologies Capital.
The pandemic and the abrupt changes it brought about to our shopping habits and general day-to-day lives highlighted how critical supply chain operations are to modern life. Globally, many communities continue to feel the negative impacts of ongoing disruptions and breakdowns, and the infamous toilet paper shortages in supermarkets aren’t too distant a memory.
From inventory delays to port congestion, these compounding challenges are only anticipated to increase in frequency and severity. A recent report from Resilinc revealed that supply chain disruptions were up 67% year-over-year.
Founded in 2015, Exotec is a global robotics company that is building scalable warehouse robotic solutions to power the worlds largest brands. Its flexible warehouse automation improves operational efficiency and economics. Exotec’s signature solution, The Skypod system, utilizes robots that can reach a height of 36 feet to enable high-density inventory storage and retrieval. Exotec supports 30+ industry-leading brands spanning e-commerce, grocery, retail, manufacturing, and 3PL sectors.
Romain Moulin, Co-founder and CEO of Exotec, said: “Following the most significant supply chain disruptions of the modern era, there’s only room left for innovation…While the entire logistics sector is fraught with uncertainty, one of the most prevalent challenges is ongoing labour shortages. Exotec pioneers a new path: elegant collaboration between human and robot workers that delivers warehouse productivity in a lasting, far more sustainable way.”
In 2020, the company picked up €77.1 million from Dell Technologies Capital, and was supported by historical investors, Iris Capital and Breega which massively accelerated growth. Since then, the company has doubled its revenue and tripled its customer base.
The French startup has been growing through North America, and recently signed 8 new large enterprise customers on the other side of the Atlantic – including Gap and Geodis. Most recently the largest sporting retailer in the world, Decathlon, deployed the Skypod System in its Montreal fulfilment centre following successful deployments in Europe.
Currently, Exotec employs more than 300 professionals around the world and is planning to double its global headcount by 2023. This new mega funding will be put to use to launch large-scale deployments in North America, Europe, and Asia for global brands, as well as boost the hiring of R&D engineers (an aim of 500 new experts by 2025).