Zebra Technologies will acquire Fetch Robotics, a provider of on-demand automation that includes autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), for $290 million.
Fetch’s AMRs are used to optimize picking in fulfillment centers and distribution centers, as well as just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in others. It is a Zebra Ventures portfolio company, and Zebra expects to fund the purchase for the 95% of the business it does not already own with cash on hand.
Its solutions include a drag-and-drop workflow development studio designed to enables out-of-the-box automation. They also aim to reduce the impact of labor shortages by improving throughput, efficiency and productivity while working alongside people in fulfillment, distribution and manufacturing environments.
Its FetchCore cloud-based enterprise software, meanwhile, serves as a foundational platform for deploying and integrating a variety of automated workflows into manufacturing and warehouse operations, as well as providing insights into facilities through machine learning on AMR sensor data.
The planned acquisition is expected to advance Zebra’s mission to bring advanced robotics solutions to customers with labor-intensive operations.
“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, Zebra Technologies CEO. “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.”
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
Issues experienced within supply chains over the last two years have changed attitudes toward automation; robots once threatened the workforce but are now viewed by an increasing number as a way to augment human teams and keep them safe.
The company’s goal is to save 20,000 hours of manual work across the organization to improve efficiency and streamline operations. To achieve this, Levi’s has tapped an estimated 50 bots in 2022 alone.