Saturday January 22, 2022

Zebra Technologies snaps up Fetch Robotics for $290m

Fetch Robotics' CartConnect100 AMR solution
Fetch Robotics' CartConnect100 AMR solution

Mobile computing group Zebra Technologies will spend $290 million to fully acquire warehouse robotics start-up Fetch Robotics to broaden its portfolio in the booming e-commerce fulfilment market.

The US-based technology group, which offers a wide range of mobile computers, scanners, printers and other products for diverse sectors including warehousing, distribution, transportation and logistics, already owns 5% of the robotics company through its Zebra Ventures fund.

Zebra underlined that the planned acquisition furthers its vision to bring advanced robotics solutions to customers who have labour-intensive operations. It already offers robotics automation solutions combining its FulfillmentEdge and SmartSight solutions with Fetch Robotics’ AMRs.

According to Zebra, Fetch is a “high gross-margin” business that is generating annualized run-rate sales of approximately $10 million.

Productivity improvements

Fetch’s Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are used for optimized picking in fulfillment centers and distribution centers, just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in any facility. Working alongside human staff, they improve productivity and help reduce the impact of labour shortages.

According to Zebra, the robotics company features the largest portfolio of AMRs in the industry and offers seamless integration with warehouse and manufacturing systems without the need for changes to facilities or infrastructure.

Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies, said: “The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments.

“This move will also extend our ongoing commitment to optimize the supply chain from the point of production to the point of consumption. We are excited to welcome the Fetch team to the Zebra family.”

Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics, commented: “The Fetch team is excited to join Zebra and accelerate the adoption of flexible automation through AMRs and our cloud-based robotics platform. Together we have the right team with the right technology to provide end-to-end solutions that solve real customer problems.

“By helping customers dynamically optimize and holistically orchestrate their fulfillment, distribution, and manufacturing operations, together we help enable their ability to stay ahead of growing demand, minimize delivery times and address shrinking labour pools.”

Zebra said it expects to fund the $290 million purchase price – for the 95% of the business it does not already own – with cash on hand. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

SourceZebra Technologies

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