Inside Logistics

Pension fund invests in Attabotics

Calgary automation supplier builds micro-fulfillment centres


August 19, 2020
by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

CALGARY – A Calgary-based firm that bases its warehouse robotics system on the structure of ant colonies says it has attracted US$50 million in funding from a group led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

Inspired by ant colonies, Attabotics condenses a traditional warehouse into a single, vertical storage structure. Inside the structure, robotic shuttles move in three-dimensional space (X, Y, and Z axes) to store and deliver goods to workers on the perimeter that pick, pack and ship orders.

Attabotics’ single structure also significantly reduces a retailer’s warehouse footprint (by up to 85 percent), allowing them to place warehouses closer to cities for faster delivery times and save money on real estate.

The company currently has six live installations in North America spanning customers across retail, B2B, food & beverage, and one of the largest luxury retailers in the U.S., Nordstrom. Microsoft also partners with Attabotics for cloud-based supply chain management on the Azure platform.

Founded in 2015, the company says its total funding is now at US$82.7 million and it plans to use the new funds to accelerate commercial deployment, invest in new technologies and scale manufacturing operations.

The Ontario Teachers’ investment is being made through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform, which focuses on late-stage venture and growth equity investments in technology companies.

The funding round also includes existing investor Honeywell.

“We are excited by the opportunity to become a long-term investor because we believe in Attabotics’ differentiated technology and highly skilled team, and how this combination is poised to disrupt existing cube storage solutions currently available in the market,” said Olivia Steedman, senior managing director of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform.