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Sensormatic Solutions offers RF-based EAS technology for retail; Balluff intros new handheld UHF RFID reader; Avery Dennison opens European intelligent labels hub; Altizon showcases IIoT manufacturing solutions; AtomBeam Technologies joins LoRa Alliance; IIoT study compares BehrTech platform against LoRa LPWAN; Simbe Robotics raises $26 million in Series A funding.
By Rich Handley

Simbe Robotics Raises $26 Million in Series A Funding

Simbe Robotics, which leverages robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide physical retail stores with insights into inventory and operations, has announced two separate funding deals— a Series A equity financing round and an inventory financing agreement with SoftBank Robotics—enabling the company to increase efficiencies in the production and deployment of Simbe's Tally robot. With the backing of these firms, Simbe explains, it will be able to leverage equity and inventory financing to build on its existing momentum and growth. This includes a focus on growing its team, expanding its fleet of Tally robots into new markets and accelerating its deployments with existing partners.

"Our investors, both previous and new, provide much more than financial support. They are advocates and trusted advisors who bring invaluable institutional knowledge to all facets of our business," said Brad Bogolea, Simbe Robotics' co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "Both our equity financing partners and the SoftBank Robotics team are deeply aligned with Simbe's vision to revitalize physical retail through data. We are at a pivotal time of growth and value their support as we continue to transform retail at a global scale."

The $26 million Series A was led by Venrock with participation from Future Shape, Valo Ventures and Activant Capital, investors experienced in the retail, robotics and technology industries. The equity capital will go toward Simbe's business operations; scaling its sales, marketing and customer-success functions; and continued investment in research and development.

"The Simbe team is building one of the most interesting datasets in retail, capturing inventory and pricing data that hasn't been available before. With Simbe, retail stores can free up scarce labor to spend more time doing high-value activities like interacting with customers. Retail is changing, and stores must modernize to succeed in today's environment," said David Pakman, a partner at Venrock and a Simbe board member, in the prepared statement. "The Simbe team has impressed me from the start, and they are uniquely equipped to bring this new reality to retail."

In early 2018, Simbe and SoftBank Robotics America began a partnership to scale Simbe's business globally. Following an initial success, the two companies will expand their collaboration to include inventory financing, in order to accelerate the global deployment of the Tally robot. The funds will support scaled manufacturing of an additional 1,000 Tally units during the next two years. SoftBank Robotics has deployed more than 25,000 robots globally and has the infrastructure in place to support Simbe's need to scale manufacturing, shipping, deployment and field services of Tally robots globally, the company reports.

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