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Simbe’s Inventory Robots Are So Good, They Just Raised $28 Million


Eclipse led a $28 million Series B funding round for Simbe Robotics, bringing the company’s total funding to $54 million. This new investment follows the introduction of Simbe’s Tally robots at BJ’s Wholesale Club stores earlier this year, which was met with great success. With this new round of funding, Simbe will be able to reach out to more retail partners around the world and spread its message of how AI and robotics can improve the shopping experience for consumers.

Several companies specializing in automated inventory management have received sizable funding in recent months. B Garage, whose warehouse inventory drones raised $20 million, and the Swiss company Verity, which announced a $11 million raise, are two examples. Dexory raised $19 million for a robot that scans shelves in the back of stores, and Gather AI bought out a competitor, Ware.

Since taking inventory is a boring and time-consuming chore, automated inventory systems have become increasingly popular. It’s a good candidate for automation because it requires collecting and managing large amounts of data. In light of the recent shutdowns of non-essential businesses, supply chain concerns, and labor shortages, retailers have shown a growing interest in automating these tasks.

When compared to rival inventory robot manufacturers, Simbe Robotics stands out for its emphasis on front-of-store operations. Tally robots are intended to keep vigil over stockroom shelves, counting items and noting any that are missing, which could indicate theft or tampering. Human labor is required for this task, as well as store closures (or overnight shifts). Using Tally robots, stores can get the job done faster and reduce the amount of time an item sits empty on a shelf.

Retailers can save time and money by employing inventory robots to manage their stock. The following indicators from the past year are highlighted by Simbe:

  • Provided goods and services to 12 of the world’s top 250 retailers, including BJ’s Wholesale, Schnucks Markets, SpartanNash, Wakefern, Carrefour, and more, across the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.
  • Over 12 billion processed product images from shelves
  • Checked the availability and pricing of over 5 billion products.
  • Finished more than 1.7 million hours of data capture operations without any help from store employees or customers.

Tally and other inventory robots can boost customer satisfaction. Customers will have a one-of-a-kind, futuristic shopping experience with the robots cruising up and down the aisles with them. Retailers can get some good press from using branded robots, too.

Forecasts indicate that the market for inventory robots will expand in the years to come. The global market for inventory robots is projected to increase from $2.9 billion in 2021 to $9.5 billion by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.2%.

The rising demand for automation in retail, the need for better inventory management, and the increasing demand for contactless shopping experiences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are all contributing to the expansion of the inventory robot market.

The technology underlying inventory robots is likely to advance as the market develops. Tally robots from Simbe Robotics are already being upgraded with new features like inventory tracking and the ability to locate items that have been moved from their designated shelves.

In summary, Tally, made by Simbe Robotics, is just one example of the inventory robots that are transforming the retail sector by enhancing both internal operations and the shopping experience for customers. Recent funding will allow Simbe Robotics to reach more retail partners around the world and spread the word about its mission to improve the shopping experience through the use of artificial intelligence and robotics. Future innovations are likely to be even more ground-breaking than they already are, as the technology powering inventory robots adapts to meet rising demand.

First reported on TechCrunch

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Simbe Robotics?

A: Simbe Robotics is a company specializing in the development of robotic solutions for the retail industry. Their flagship product, Tally, is an inventory robot designed to improve inventory management and enhance the shopping experience for both retailers and consumers.

Q: What is Tally and how does it work?

A: Tally is an autonomous robot that navigates store aisles, scanning shelves and collecting data on inventory levels, product placement, and pricing. Equipped with sensors and cameras, Tally can identify misplaced items, detect out-of-stock products, and monitor shelf conditions. The data collected by Tally is then analyzed to provide valuable insights for retailers to optimize their inventory processes.

Q: What recent funding news involves Simbe Robotics?

A: Eclipse led a $28 million Series B funding round for Simbe Robotics, bringing the company’s total funding to $54 million. This significant investment will support Simbe in expanding its presence among retail partners worldwide and further develop their AI and robotics technologies.

Q: Why are automated inventory management solutions gaining popularity in the retail industry?

A: Automated inventory management systems have become increasingly popular due to several factors. Traditional inventory management methods are often time-consuming, prone to human errors, and require significant labor resources. Automated solutions, such as inventory robots like Tally, offer more efficient and accurate inventory tracking, help reduce costs, and provide real-time data for informed decision-making.

Q: How does Tally contribute to better inventory management?

A: Tally robots are designed to assist retailers in maintaining accurate and up-to-date inventory records. By continuously monitoring shelves, Tally can quickly identify discrepancies, such as missing or misplaced items, allowing store personnel to take prompt action. This helps minimize stockouts, reduce inventory carrying costs, and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers.

Q: What benefits do inventory robots like Tally offer to retailers?

A: Inventory robots provide several advantages for retailers, including:

  • Improved accuracy: Robots like Tally can accurately count and track inventory, reducing the risk of human error and inventory discrepancies.
  • Time and cost savings: Automated inventory management systems streamline inventory processes, saving time and labor costs associated with manual stocktaking.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: By ensuring products are consistently available and accurately labeled, inventory robots help prevent stockouts and provide a more seamless shopping experience for customers.
  • Data-driven insights: The data collected by inventory robots can be analyzed to gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, shelf optimization, and inventory trends, allowing retailers to make data-driven decisions.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

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