China: Geek+ closes $60m Series B led by Warburg Pincus

Robots from Geek+ in a warehouse. Credit: Geek+

Geek+, a Chinese robotics firms, has closed a $60 million Series B round led by an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus and joined by its existing shareholders including Volcanics Venture.

This is reportedly the largest single round of fundraising in the logistics robot industry globally to date. Following this transaction, institutional investors of Geek+ will remain as financial investors.

Geek+ was founded in early 2015 and uses artificial intelligence to offer intelligent logistics robot solutions to customers. Its solutions cover storage, order picking, material handling and parcel sorting, and can perform a wide range of functions such as order division and consolidation, intelligent inventory replenishment and products return, SKU correlation analysis, robots route optimization, automated collision and congestion control, and dynamic shelf optimisation.

Yong Zheng, Founder and CEO of Geek+, said, “This round of financing will help us upgrade our business in three aspects. Firstly, we will accelerate the upgrading of our logistics robotics products and expand product offerings to cover more applications.”

“Secondly, we will accelerate our geographical expansion and industry coverage to provide our one-stop intelligent logistics system and operation solutions to more customers. Thirdly, we will start exploring overseas markets through multiple channels.”

The company claims to have delivered the largest numbers of logistics robots among its peers in China, delivering nearly 1,000 units of robots in warehouses for over 20 customers that include Tmall, VIPShop and Suning. Its customers include e-commerce platforms, third-party logistics providers, express delivery companies, offline retailers and manufacturers of apparels, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and electronics products.

In addition to this, it has established strategic partnerships with a number of key customers to co-develop customised AI and robotic solutions across different industries and applications.

Jericho Zhang, Principal of Warburg Pincus, commented: “As the AI technologies are maturing, we are seeing increasing market demand and new applications. In particular, the traditional, capital-intensive and labor-intensive logistics industry provides huge market potential for AI technologies. With the rapid development of China’s e-commerce industry, China’s warehouse management industry is undergoing transformational changes.”

“More complex warehouse operations and increasing costs are spurring demand for AI-enabled solutions, particularly logistics robots. The use of AI solutions and logistics robots has clear advantages in cost, efficiency and flexibility over manual warehouse management and other automation technologies.”

Since 1994, Warburg Pincus has invested more than $7 billion in nearly 100 firms in China. This Series B round marks its first investment in the AI sector in China. The firm is among the most experienced investors in China’s logistics industry, and its current portfolio companies include ZTO Express, ANE Logistics, Yunniao Technology and ESR Group in China.

Also Read:

India: Warburg Pincus invests $100m in CleanMax Solar

PE firm Warburg Pincus leads $64m round in Singapore-based Trax

Warburg Pincus to buy 43% in India’s Tata Tech for $360m

China: IDG-backed Ecovacs Robotics files for IPO on Shanghai Stock Exchange

China’s Midea gets US approval for takeover of German robotics maker Kuka

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.