A warehouse robotics vendor backed by retail giant Walmart and logistics technology investor SoftBank will become a publicly traded company, raising $725 million to back its fast growth, Wilmington, Massachusetts-based Symbotic said today.
Symbotic made a splash in the warehouse automation scene in July when it revealed that Walmart planned to install its automated material handling system in 25 of its 42 regional distribution centers. The firm had first implemented its system in one of Walmart’s Florida DCs in 2017 and the two parties had been optimizing the system ever since.
That 14-year-old tech startup will soon have a valuation of $5.5 billion once it merges with a Softbank-backed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called SVF Investment Corp. 3. That maneuver is expected to raise $725 million in gross proceeds for Symbotic, including $200 million from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and $205 million from a group of strategic and institutional investors including Walmart itself.
Symbotic defines itself as a “product movement technology platform,” powered by a fleet of autonomous robots with A.I.-enabled software, that is capable of rebuilding the traditional warehouse.
The firm backs up those bold terms with a customer list that includes Albertsons and C&S Wholesale Grocers as well as Walmart, and says it currently operates systems that service over 1,400 stores in 16 states and 8 Canadian provinces. Together, that business has created an order backlog of over $5 billion and is on track to generate $433 million in revenue in fiscal year 2022.
“Symbotic is harnessing the power of A.I. to deliver the products that customers want and need, and to bring more products to more consumers in less-time and at a lower cost,” Vikas J. Parekh, managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA), said in a release. “That this is achieved while also lowering the environmental impact is a great thing and a testament to the capabilities of Symbotic’s technology. We’re proud they chose to go public through a merger with SVFC, and we look forward to supporting the company’s growth into promising new verticals and markets.”
Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. has become one of the biggest financial forces backing logistics startups and new technologies in recent years, having held large stakes in companies such as digitized freight forwarder Forto GmbH, robotics vendor Boston Dynamics, and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) vendor AutoStore.
Symbotic, a revolutionary A.I.-enabled technology platform for the supply chain, has made an exciting announcement. Click here to read the full press release: https://t.co/8wxhtePL2B— Symbotic (@SymboticTweet) December 13, 2021