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Locus Robotics Now a Unicorn with New Funding

| Mike O'Brien

Locus Robotics, a provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) for fulfillment warehouses, has raised $150 million in a Series E round, led by Tiger Global Management and Bond, bringing its valuation to the unicorn level north of $1 billion as its business multiplies. The company is looking to expand in Europe and enter APAC in 2022.

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Walmart Expands Store-Based Grocery Fulfillment Automation

| Mike O'Brien

Walmart is taking another huge leap forward in its attempt to dominate grocery sales, launching an aggressive plan to increase the number of stores using micro fulfillment via automation and robotics to speed orders to local customers as it builds on the digital legacy of the departing Marc Lore. Dozens of such locations are planned.

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Do You Need Robots Now in Your Ecommerce FC?

| James Beale

We’re at a tipping point where automation is about to be a mainstream focus of ecommerce fulfillment centers. But while automation may be a sensible investment for bigger players like Amazon, that doesn’t mean it will scale effectively to smaller operations. So, are fully automated facilities really the future, and if so, what will it look like?

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Vargo Partners with Kindred, Fetch Robotics

| Mike O'Brien

Ecommerce fulfillment software and systems integration provider Vargo has partnered with robotics sortation and grasping robot maker Kindred and autonomous mobile robot (AMR) creator Fetch Robotics to help their systems better sync with order orchestration and workflows. This continues a recent trend of SI/robotics partnerships.

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Robotic Goods-to-Person Firm Exotec Raises $90 Million

| Mike O'Brien

French robotics firm Exotec, which lists Japanese fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo as a major client, has raised $90 million to power its global growth in ecommerce fulfillment. Founded in 2015, Exotec is built on a goods-to-person model with its Skypod bots which uses laser guidance to navigate a fulfillment center.

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FedEx Express Adds Robotic Arms to Help Handle Ecommerce Surge

| Mike O'Brien

This month, FedEx Express installed four robotic arms inside a sortation hub in its hometown of Memphis, in response to demands placed on its services in the midst of the massive pandemic-influenced surge in ecommerce orders. Yaskawa America supplied the robotic arms and Plus One provided the software system.

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Locus Robotics Raises $40 Million in New Funding Round

| Mike O'Brien

Locus Robotics, makers of autonomous mobile robots for carriers and 3PLs like UPS, DHL, Ceva Logistics, Taylored Services and ShipMonk, has raised more than $40 million in a Series D funding led Zebra Ventures, along with existing investors like Scale Venture Partners.

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What Industry 4.0 Means for Your Warehouse Operations

| James Beale

Widespread implementation of Industry 4.0 might be down the road, but the elements that underpin the concept are slowly being introduced to logistics and warehouse operations worldwide. The question is: What does this concept mean for me, and how can I prepare for this new industrial revolution? Here’s what you need to know.

Seismic Shifts Bringing a New Normal to Ecommerce Operations and Fulfillment

| Mike O'Brien

What will the world of ecommerce operations and fulfillment look like after World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 pandemic ends? The answer, like predictions of that date, is uncertain. But industry experts firmly believe that the seismic shifts that began in February 2020 will create a new normal in ecommerce operations.

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The Retail Supply Chain Reset After Coronavirus: Three Expert Views

| Mike O'Brien

While much is unknown about the long-term impact of coronavirus, retail supply chains will certainly look different once the crisis is past, industry observers agree. Multichannel Merchant spoke with experts from enVista, Le Tote and Johnson Stevens to get their views on the current situation and where things are headed.