Syrius Robotics Secures $10M Series A+ Funding Led by Sequoia Capital
New financing to back continued hardware and software development on warehouse autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), global market expansion, and talent acquisition.
Shenzhen, China - Syrius Robotics(www.syriusrobotics.com) recently announces that it has raised $10 million in a Series A+ round of funding to continue scaling up autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) based warehouse automation solutions. The round is led by Sequoia Capital China, with participation from ZhenCheng Capital, Tryin Capital and PKSHA SPARX Algorithm Fund from Japan. Existing investors Future Capital and ZhenFund also joined the financing.
Founded in May 2018, Syrius Robotics provides AMR based hardware and software solutions for the warehousing logistics operations. It took six months to design its first model of AMR, and another seven months to ship the first batch of robots to Japan. Since mid of 2019, Syrius' own manufacturing line of robots has been running in massive production and keeping a weekly delivery of 40 units. Since then it has seen rapid growth in overseas market such as Japan and Singapore. Syrius AMRs now have been successfully deployed in Mitsubishi Corporation and the fastest growing e-commerce logistics giant Kanetsu K.K. in Japan. Besides, a couple of Syrius AMR pilot programs have been running in Singapore and some European countries.
Syrius AMR FlexCometTM SL-50
At present, automated guided vehicle (AGV) equipment is the most frequently used robot technology in Chinese warehouse logistics automation. These robots move around the warehouse guided by marked lines or wires on the floor. This technology relies on a central control system and centralized management, and will hence result in low efficiency of robot fleet collaboration; on the other hand, the existing warehouse infrastructure such as floor and shelf, as well as the operation flow will have to be disrupted, adding high cost and uncertainty of the return on investment period which may take as long as 10 years. That is why the warehouse robotics automation revolution, which started in 2010 with Amazon KIVA AGV system, still has not achieved desired results.
In contrast, AMRs offer a more flexible solution for warehouse automation and are more economical. It has independent decision-making ability for each robot, can calculate the routing autonomously according to the changes in surrounding environment, and can flexibly avoid the obstacles, which becomes the basis of distributed high-performance fleet collaboration; when introducing AMR technology, there is no need to change the existing warehouse environment. The whole solution can be deployed within 24 hours (best case), which can provide best flexibility and scalability for e-commerce warehouses; Syrius AMR also has good human-machine collaboration. It can be rapidly introduced to traditional warehouse operation by very small initial investment, and the cost can be returned within 8 to 10 months. Syrius’ first generation AMR - the FlexComet-SL50TM costs less than 20,000 USD (final price depends on each country’s conditions) for the hardware part and also supports OTA incremental upgrades. Starting from 6 robots in each warehouse, the customers can simply add/decrease robots according to business changes and actual operating needs. Syrius AMR can support e-commerce, 3PL and medium-sized high-tech manufacturing warehouses with both short investment return periods and optimal flexibility.
Syrius AMR was awarded the Good Design Award from Japan’s G-Mark in 2019. The robot employs indoor navigation perception algorithm with sensor fusion technology. It is with low power consumption and low computing power requirement. Equipped with an active binocular 3D camera and Fisheye lens camera, its maximum load is up to 50kg. The excellent human-machine interaction interface allows Syrius AMR to quickly integrate into existing production and operation processes, providing digitalization and automation for e-commerce and 3PL warehouses. The total Syrius AMR solution cost is only 1/4 that of other traditional warehouse automation solutions.
Syrius AMR Working in the Warehouse
Syrius AMR also has advanced fleet management capabilities. Each robot can access the cloud-based robot management system - FlexGalaxyTM through 4G network, turning traditional centralized management into distributed decision-making and improving system flexibility. In the future, by analyzing the data generated during the operation process, FlexGalaxyTM will be able to help customers optimize the layout of the warehouse and further improve the efficiency of warehousing logistics operation. By upgrading the traditional warehouse to Syrius AMR and FlexGalaxyTM automated solution, it can promote the closed-loop of data intelligent from logistics to business flow and further empower industrial upstream and downstream value chain. At the same time, Syrius Robotics is trying to work with partners to jointly develop an overall solution of the e-commerce front-end micro-warehouse.Syrius robotics pushes into overseas market instead of China where it hails from. The reason behind was that warehouse automation overseas is more mature and well accepted.
The global demand for warehouse mobile robots is with rapid growth these years. While the market volume in 2017 was $1.1 billion only, it is expected to reach $7 billion in 2022, of which AMR will take up over 50%. Chinese domestic warehouse automation is still in the early stage and the companies are quite sensitive to costs, however, an outbreak is obviously foreseen in the next 1 or 2 years. And Syrius Robotics sets to accumulate branding and marketing experience as well as cash flow overseas first and then switch back to China.
Syrius Robotics is also exploring new business model to help clients to use its AMRs for warehouse automation without having to make big capital investment. Its cooperation with Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan is under a scheme of providing Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) - with software licensing and service subscription, hoping to bring best possible benefits to its customer.
Syrius robotics was founded in May 2018 by Adam Jiang with work experience at Motorola and Nvidia, Luo Xuan who was previously with Alibaba Robotics, and Liu Junbin, a PhD of electrical engineering and computer sciences. Headquartered in Shenzhen and with branch offices in Beijing and Tokyo, it now has around 80 employees, of which 80% are technicists.