GreyOrange raises $30 million for global expansion

BENGALURU: GreyOrange, a robotics firm that is in the business of automating warehouses, has raised $30 million (Rs 191.6 crore) in a round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors Blume Ventures to set foot outside of India.

The funding, which the company says is one of the largest for a robotics company globally, will be used to invest in developing new products, expand internationally into Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe.

The company says it has a 90% market share of India's warehouse automation market and it powers over 180,000 square feet of warehouse.

"We are doubling our team size globally as we steer the company and our products beyond India and into international markets," said Cofounder and CEO Samay Kohli, who founded the company with Akash Gupta in 2011.

GreyOrange has more than 300 employees, two-thirds of the team is in engineering. GreyOrange competes with companies such as Swisslog and Kiva Systems, a subsidiary of internet retailer Amazon. In India, Falcon AutoTech also caters to the warehouse automation market in India.

"The GreyOrange team is helping transform the logistics industry with its high-tech, automated solutions and is now well positioned to leverage its technology globally," said Lee Fixel, partner of New York-based Tiger Global Management. GreyOrange had earlier raised its Series-A round from Tiger Global and Blume Ventures in April 2014.

The company has two products — The Sorter and the Butler. The former is a high-speed system that consolidates orders and routes parcels. By Diwali, the company will have installed sortation capacity of 3 million parcels per day.

The second product, the Butler, is an order-picking system that is tailored for high-volume, high-mix orders characteristic of ecommerce and omni-channel logistics fulfilment.

GreyOrange claims that with the implementation of a Butler-based system, ecommerce companies can dramatically drive up operational efficiencies to the level similar to those of the top warehouses in the world.

Its customers include Flipkart, Amazon India, Jabong, Delhivery, GoJavas, Aramex, DTDC and Kerry Logistics.

"There is a real business case for this. It is not built on hope like ecommerce," said Arun Seth, an angel investor who has backed hardware firms like media streaming device maker Teewee, and payments firm Ezetap. "I am very bullish on the manufacturing space."

According to London-based WinterGreen Research's Industrial Logistics Robots report, sale of robots for logistics, packaging, and materials handling, among others, are projected to grow at a compounded rate of 10.1% and reach $31.3 billion by 2020.

GreyOrange has offices in Hong Kong, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Its Gurgaon-based development team is gearing up to move into its 1,200 seater, state-ofthe-art campus with a global prototyping center that is equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers, a full-fledged paintshop, 5-axis milling and lathe, customer demo centres and a host of simulation equipment.

Investors say much of the focus so far was on solving problems in ecommerce such as like marketplaces, online stores and payments. "We believe those challenges have largely been tackled, and in recent quarters, are starting to see companies give greater attention to redesigning their processes and investing in warehouse automation equipment, in order to keep up with the exponential increase in ecommerce orders," said Karthik Reddy, managing partner at Blume Ventures.

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