Ocado announced the acquisition of a minority stake in robotics startup Myrmex, and is due to take a seat on its board.
Materials handling robotics
Fremont, California-based Myrmex is a materials handling robotics start-up with a unique offering including autonomous mobile robots and intelligent asset handling systems. The startup’s set of solutions notably enables click-and-collect deliveries, allowing the industry to respond to the accelerated demand for smart deliveries created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Ocado, it secured intellectual property that is synergistic with its pioneering suite of solutions and has appointed Myrmex to design and develop a bespoke product.
“Adding automation to our end-to-end offering”
George Katiniotis, Chief Executive Officer of Myrmex, commented: “With over 20 years of experience in transforming online grocery through cutting-edge technology and automation, Ocado Group is widely recognised as the leader in this space. The company’s investment is testament to Myrmex’s robotics and automation capabilities and will enable us to accelerate the commercialisation of our product portfolio.”
Meanwhile, Alex Harvey, Engineering Director for OSP Handling Robotics at Ocado Technology, said: “We’ve been impressed with Myrmex’s capabilities and are excited about the potential synergies with our existing business. As the shift to online grocery accelerates, we are moving even faster in adding automation to our end-to-end offering. Myrmex can play a part in that journey.”
According to Ocado, Myrmex targets the European, US and Middle East online markets, mostly focusing on the last mile delivery part of the sector, offering a system capable of delivering an online order just a few seconds after the customer arrives at the pick-up point. The system also takes care of replenishment, returns, temperature controls, and payment methods.
For more information on Ocado, read our Ocado Strategic Outlook and to help you prepare for the new normal, read Post-Coronavirus (COVID-19): the longer-term impact and the new normal for ecommerce.