Robotics & Automation News

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Pickle Robot raises $26 million to develop robotics for unloading trucks

Pickle Robot, a startup developing robotic automation systems that unload trucks, says it has “live pilot implementations” which are unloading tens-of-thousands of packages per month at customer sites in the greater Los Angeles area.

The company says it has also raised $26 million in series A funding led by Ranpak, JS Capital, Schusterman Family Investments, Catapult Ventures, and Soros Capital.

Additionally, Pickle Robot has added growth-oriented industry veterans to its leadership team to accelerate commercialization of the company’s flagship robotic unload systems.

Founded in 2018, Pickle Robot tackled a number of warehouse challenges using industrial robots built on core AI software, computer vision, and advanced sensors.

The company says it is “laser-focused” on applying its technology to one of the most labor-intensive, physically demanding, and highest turnover work areas in logistics operations: truck unloading.

United Exchange is an early customer using the Pickle Robot Unload System. UEC produces, sources, and distributes quality private label and licensed consumer goods and food items sold by retailers around the world.

At UEC’s Southern California distribution center, the Pickle Robot Unload System processes eligible floor-loaded ocean freight containers alongside UEC staff who use traditional manual processes to unload other trailers at the facility.

Tom Blaylock, director of operations at United Exchange Corporation, says: “Pickle robots really do unload trucks, or in our case ocean freight containers.

“Pickle has been a great partner to work with. We’ve seen their technology improve month-over-month handling our varied product types and package sizes, plus their team works closely with our staff on site to make sure the daily work gets done on time to quality standards.”

Pickle will use the funding to accelerate go-to-market activities and strengthen deployment capabilities. Omar Asali, Chairman and CEO of Ranpak, has joined Pickle’s Board of Directors as part of the investment deal.

Following this Series A investment round, the company has raised a total of nearly $32 million to date. Previous investors that participated in this funding round included Toyota AI Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, Hyperplane Ventures, BoxGroup, and Version One Ventures.

Asali says: “Unloading freight from trucks and containers is a difficult, sometimes dangerous, and always tedious task that is performed in thousands of locations every day.

“Operators around the globe are having difficulty filling positions to do this type of work, and Pickle is delivering a real robotic unload system that can help fill the labor gap plaguing the logistics industry.”

To help accelerate the commercialization phase of the company, Pickle has expanded its leadership team to include Mike Donikian, Vice President of Product and Product Operations, and Pete Blair, Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

Mike brings a wealth of experience to Pickle from his previous roles launching and growing exceptional teams and products for Wayfair, Amazon Robotics, Amazon Pay, and Alexa. Pete brings go-to-market strategy and execution from his previous roles leading marketing at Berkshire Grey, Applause App Quality, and Kiva Systems / Amazon Robotics.

AJ Meyer, founder and CEO of Pickle Robot Company, says: “Customer interest in Pickle unload systems has been incredibly strong, and now that we have our initial unload systems out of the lab and into customer operations we have a clear path to broad commercialization.

“The early customer deployments, financing, and leadership additions set the stage for us to accelerate customer acquisition and build the company infrastructure we need to deliver more systems to more customers in the coming months.”

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