San Francisco-based robotics startup Simbe just announced a $26 million Series A. The round was led by Venrock and features Future Shape, Valo Ventures and Activant Capital. The company is one of several looking to automate the process of providing retail inventory.
Simbe says the funding will go toward growing its headcount, exploring new markets and accelerating the deployment of its existing robots. The news also finds Nest’s Tony Fadell, Venrock’s David Pakman and Pathbreaker Venture’s Ryan Gembala joining the startup’s board.
“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,” co-founder and CEO Brad Bogolea said in a release. “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.”
Simbe has been showcasing its inventory robot Tally since 2015. Soon after, Lemnos made an investment in the company. Earlier this year, U.S. supermarket chain Giant Eagle announced plans to begin a pilot program deploying Tally in select stores. That announcement came a week or so after Walmart announced its own plan to pilot robots from Pittsburgh-based competitor, Bossa Nova.
Other retailers using Simbe robots include Schnuck Markets, Decathlon Sporting Goods and Groupe Casino. Along with the Series A, SoftBank Robotics is also providing an inventory financing agreement to help scale manufacturing for the company.