Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Covariant raises $75 million in Series C funding

Covariant, an AI robotics company, has raised an additional $75 million in Series C funds, bringing its total funding to $222 million.

Returning investors Radical Ventures and Index Ventures co-led the round, which also saw additional funding from returning investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Amplify Partners.

The round also welcomed new investors Gates Frontier Holdings, AIX Ventures, and Northgate Capital.

The funding will be used to ensure today’s leading retailers and their logistics providers are able to deploy robotic picking quickly and without disruption to their current operations – guaranteeing that they see value on Day One.

This comes at a time when retail executives are eager to invest in AI-powered robotic automation.

According to a Covariant-led research survey from February 2023, more than 80 percent of retail leaders see automation as a key solution for navigating operational uncertainty in an unpredictable marketplace – and 98 percent plan to further invest in AI Robotics in 2023 despite current economic conditions.

Peter Chen, CEO, Covariant, says: “The leading companies have turned to AI robotics to automate their most manual operations in order to decrease labor costs, increase throughput, and control profitability.

“The past year for Covariant has been incredible with 6x growth in 2022 – and we are just getting started.

“This infusion of new capital allows us to scale even faster, ensuring more retailers can automate more parts of their fulfillment networks to remove manual bottlenecks, handle fluctuating demand, and better prepare for ever-changing business needs.”

Since its initial Series C in 2021, Covariant has taken its industry-leading AI platform – the Covariant Brain – and successfully applied it to a broad set of piece-picking and case-picking applications that represent today’s manual warehouse operations.

In less than two years, the company’s product portfolio has grown to include order sortation, item induction, good-to-person order picking, kitting, and depalletization solutions – all powered by a unified AI platform.

By leveraging the first foundation model for robotics, retailers, 3PLs, and warehouse integration providers are able to leverage the same AI platform to power a variety of robotic systems regardless of use case, facility type, or location. Connected robots learn as a fleet – enabling operational improvements to automatically propagate across customers’ networks.

Covariant says it has a “growing number” of customer deployments, including Radial’s recent installation of 12 AI-powered robotic putwalls.

Jordan Jacobs, managing partner of Radical Ventures, says: “Covariant has proven it’s the world’s leading AI Robotics company, with AI enabling the successful deployment of robots at scale to secure global supply chains.

“That helps brands improve consumer trust, retailer confidence, and profitability, even in a time of economic uncertainty.”

Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures, believes Covariant maintains a strong competitive advantage amidst an increasingly compelling market.

Volpi says: “Many companies are trying to break into the AI Robotics space, but Covariant has been making significant progress for years now.

“I’m confident that their team, which represents the best minds in AI, and their approach of deploying a unified AI platform are shaping the future of automation, and look forward to the additional progress they’ll make in the years ahead.”

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