OTTO Motors going global

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
Clearpath’s OTTO 1500 has been selected by GE Healthcare to deliver items in its repair facility. (Credit: Clearpath)

KITCHENER, Ontario – OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics, has closed US$29 million in Series C funding for the continued expansion of its autonomous mobile robot (AMR) platform.

This funding will be used to expand OTTO’s global network of delivery partners and accelerate development of its autonomous material handling technology.

“Mobile robots are no longer a luxury in the workplace; they are a necessity,” said Clearpath CEO and co-founder Matthew Rendall.

“In a post-Covid world, AMRs enhance worker safety and bring resiliency to supply chains. As enterprises adapt, AMR demand will accelerate globally. This investment will enable us to grow to meet the evolving needs of the factories and warehouses of the future anywhere in the world.”

“Clearpath and its OTTO autonomous mobile robots have been on our radar for some time.  We see strong trends favouring the acceleration of industrial automation generally, with Clearpath positioned very strongly to benefit from this rapidly growing sector,” said Rick Nathan, senior managing director at Kensington, which led the funding round.

“OTTO’s technology leads the market for core infrastructure for the factory of the future. It is becoming increasingly important for customers across all manufacturing and a compelling opportunity for our investors.”

OTTO has helped Berry Global Group, a Fortune 500 manufacturer, meet increasing customer demand despite labour shortages at a plant in Kentucky. Berry Global’s fleet of 19 OTTO AMRs operate 24/7, supplying cases to and from automated production machines.

“Our mission to ensure a safe and productive work environment, along with the challenges of persistent labor constraints, has led us to increase investments in creative automation solutions,” said Scott Spaeth, director of corporate automation at Berry Global.

“The OTTO vehicles address those challenges and deliver improved operations reliability, while enhancing the working environment for our employees.”

Over 70 percent of the AMRs installed by OTTO are in Fortune Global 500 companies, including GE, Toyota, Nestle, and Berry Global. In recent months, OTTO has also seen a surge in demand from essential businesses responding to increased operational risks associated with Covid-19, including food, beverage and medical device manufacturing.

The investment was led by Kensington Private Equity Fund with participation from BMO Capital Partners, Export Development Canada (EDC), and previous investors iNovia Capital and RRE Ventures. Including this Series C round, OTTO Motors has now raised $83 million (USD) in funding.