Warburg-backed logistics robotics startup Geek+ snags $150m Series C1 round

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

Chinese logistics robotics startup Geek+ has closed a $150 million Series C1 round, led by GGV Capital and US-based hedge fund D1 Capital Partners, according to an announcement on Wednesday.

The round, which is reportedly the largest in the logistics robot industry – also saw participation of its existing investors including Warburg Pincus, a US-based private equity major who has recently closed a $4.25 billion China-Southeast Asia II Fund. The firm led a $150 million Series B round in Geek+ last year.

Founded in 2015, Geek+ produces robots that sort and transport goods at warehouses and navigatate stock keeping units to help retailers track investories and sales.

Caliming to be the top player in Japan, Geek+ said it is also one of the largest suppliers of autonomous mobile robots in the world, having already sold more than 7,000 units of robots. It counts internet giants Alibaba and Xiaomi, logistics firm SF Express and retailer Suning as its clients.

“As a key infrastructure of an economic system, the logistics sector serves as a pillar for e-commerce, consumption and retail which operate on a scale of trillions. With reliable hardware and effective algorithms, Geek+’s smart robotics solutions enable better efficiency in the supply chain,” said GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee.

Warburg Pincus first invested in Geek+ in 2017 through a $60 million Series B round.

“Since Warburg Pincus has invested in Geek+ in 2017 and 2018, the company has grown rapidly, especially on its international business growth and has become a global logistics robot service provider. We expect Geek+ continue to lead the innovation in the field of supply chain intelligence,” said Warburg Pincus partner Jericho Zhang who focuses on healthcare and consumer investments.

According to a study by US enterprise technology firm Zebra Technologies, six in 10 companies are planning to introduce automation in warehouses to ease labour woes, where technology utilisation was identified both as the most anticipated operational challenge of the next five yeras and a a desired long-term outcome for increased asset visibility, real-time guidance and data-driven performance.