Two venture-backed startups making flying indoor drones for warehouse inventory counting applications have joined forces, following news today that Pittsburgh-based Gather AI has acquired San Francisco’s Ware.
Gather AI says the deal makes it the market leader in the space with 25 customers, more than any other autonomous inventory management company.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the firms said that Ware will now operate under the combined Gather AI name, brand, and website. The next step for current Ware customers is that they will be integrated into the Gather AI platform in the coming weeks, with the support of the combined Ware and Gather AI teams.
A Carnegie Mellon University spin-off, Gather AI makes artificial intelligence (AI)-powered software that enables drones to fly autonomously through warehouses while photographing inventory stored in pallet locations. The platform reads bar codes, text, and other information in the images and automatically compares it with what’s in the warehouse management system (WMS).
The local warehouse manager can then view inventory data in real time from a web dashboard. According to the company, its clients gain a reduction in inventory counting staff, find lost inventory, reduce the time required for full facility scans, and boosting revenue with differentiation from their rivals.
Based on that technology, Gather AI raised a $10 million “series A” venture capital round last year, after raising $3.4 million in seed funds in 2020.
Likewise, Ware was founded by engineers from North Carolina State University and says it deploys autonomous, self-flying drones, combined with machine learning and AI, inside warehouses to automate their inventory tracking.
The firms say that their merger will help address a global warehouse market that is expected to grow at 7.7% CAGR and reach $1.26 trillion by 2030. That expansion is driven by the global restructuring of manufacturing and logistics and a transition to online commerce, pushing warehouse operators to accelerate their digital transformations.
“Understanding inventory levels is critical for creating accurate forecasts and managing in this environment. We offer real-time inventory visibility to our customers through our AI software which turns commodity drones into autonomous data-gathering machines,” Gather AI CEO Sankalp Arora said in a release. “Acquiring Ware’s business accelerates our growth further, bringing our proven solution to more warehouses, and enabling our customers to leverage data insights from across our growing network.”