Israeli AI company CommonSense Robotics has raised $20 million in a Series A financing round led by Playground Global, with participation from previous investors Aleph VC and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. The company, which has raised $26 million to date, uses AI and robotics tech to help online grocery retailers speed up sorting and processing inventory, taking orders, and delivering them.
The funds will be used to scale up CommonSense Robotics’ deployment rate, develop their next generation of robotics and artificial intelligence and expand global operations.
Founded in 2015 by Ori Avraham, Eyal Goren and CEO Elram Goren, the company has 65 employees in Israel. CMO Ran Peled said that unlike in the retail fashion industry where there are profit margins of tens of percent, in the retail food industry there is a profit margin of just 3%. The grocer relies on customers to come to the store, choose the goods, and take them home by themselves. That makes delivering fresh food a loss making proposition for the average retailer.
The company has set up a micro-fulfillment center in Tel Aviv which includes products and robots that know how to gather products from the shelves for customers. The warehouse is currently only being used for tests, explains Peled. An additional warehouse will soon be opened in Holon, which will begin pilot operations. Peled stresses that the warehouses will be relatively small and in city centers in order to operate with optinal speed, efficiency and accessibility.
The company plans to open more facilities in the US, UK and Israel in 2018.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 15, 2018
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