Zebra Technologies Corporation, a provider of intelligent edge solutions, intends to acquire Fetch Robotics, an on-demand automation company. Fetch’s Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are used for optimized picking in fulfilment centres and distribution centres, just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in any facility.
Fetch features a large portfolio of AMRs in the industry servicing warehouse and manufacturing systems without alteration to facilities or infrastructure. These AMRs can help reduce the impact of labour shortages by improving throughput, efficiency and productivity whilst working alongside people in fulfilment, distribution and manufacturing environments.
“The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments”, said Anders Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer of Zebra Technologies. “This move will also extend our ongoing commitment to optimize the supply chain from the point of production to the point of consumption. We are excited to welcome the Fetch team to the Zebra family”.
Zebra will also inherit Fetch Robotics’ software products, including Workflow Builder, a drag and drop workflow development studio for automation that can be used to deploy automated material handling workflows in “hours instead of months”. The company also offers cloud-based Enterprise Software, FetchCore as a platform for deploying and integrating a range of automated workflows into manufacturing and warehouse operations, providing insights into facilities through machine learning on AMR sensor data.
Zebra says its focus on robotics automation combines workflow solutions for human workers, including current Zebra offerings such as FulfillmentEdge and SmartSight with Fetch Robotics’ solutions. The result will provide an “innovative offering that drives greater efficiencies and higher ROI through better orchestration of technology and people”.
“The Fetch team is excited to join Zebra and accelerate the adoption of flexible automation through AMRs and our cloud-based robotics platform. Together we have the right team with the right technology to provide end-to-end solutions that solve real customer problems”, said Melonee Wise, Chief Executive Officer of Fetch Robotics. “By helping customers dynamically optimize and holistically orchestrate their fulfilment, distribution, and manufacturing operations, together we help enable their ability to stay ahead of growing demand, minimize delivery times and address shrinking labour pools”.
Fetch is already a succesful Zebra Ventures portfolio company, generating annualized run-rate sales of approximately $10 million. Zebra expects to fund the $290 million purchase price – for the 95% of the business it does not already own – with cash on hand. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
“Our goal is to give robots and people the opportunity to do their very best work”, said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies. “This acquisition is a continuation of what we expect to be a series of innovations that reflect our commitment to creating solutions that help our customers improve their operations through robotics”.
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