Dexory, a company that serves warehouses with real-time inventory management data using AI software and autonomous robots, has raised $19 million in a Series A round of funding led by European VC Atomico.
Founded in London in 2015, Dexory’s product can be split into two segments. On the hardware side, the company develops robots replete with sensors and cameras to capture data as they traverse a particular warehouse, taking continuous photos of racks as they move at something akin to normal walking speed (e.g., a half-meter/second). The robots capture 3D scans of the site, which can give insights into things like dimensions, shapes and sizes, and volumes of goods sitting on shelves.
Dexory then uses computer vision and machine learning to process the captured data, while tying it to the physical location of the stock but inside a digital twin — that is, a complete virtual equivalent of its real-world counterpart.
“The robots can be deployed multiple times a day or once a day around their shift patterns, including overnight,” Dexory co-founder and CEO Andrei Danescu told TechCrunch over email. “The collection of data insights over a short space of time, all the time, allows analysis for identifying issues on-the-spot and decision making in driving warehouse operational efficiencies.”
Dexory says that its customers use its platform for any number of use cases, such as carrying out autonomous stock checks throughout the day, reducing the need for labor-intensive manual inventory counts. This can also be helpful for solving some of the common warehouse pain points, such as identifying misplaced pallets or other goods that have gone AWOL.
Instinctively, this will never be a perfect solution in every scenario, as it surely isn’t possible to see every item on a shelf, particularly if they’re stacked in rows or located high on shelves. But Danescu reckons that it will go most of the way toward solving at least some of the stock-check problems.
“If the goods are behind one another, the solution might not be able to identify exactly what the goods are — no label to read means nothing to identify of course,” Danescu said. “But due to the 3D scans, it will let the operators know that something else is there, and show them a picture of what that is, solving more than 80% of the problem.”
Moreover, stock checks aren’t the entire purpose for Dexory’s platform. It can also be used to keep tabs on space optimization — for instance, where there may be large gaps with nothing in it. Or it could be used to forecast capacity, or even as part of a company’s safety regulation compliance workflow, where it can spot any dangerous situations arising.
While there are countless robotics companies already infiltrating the retail sphere with similar smarts, including the likes of Bossa Nova, Simbe, and Zippedi, Danescu says they’re setting out to differentiate from the pack through its focus on larger warehouse-style environments, rather than retail stores — its robots can scan up to 15 meters (50 feet) high by physically expanding.
“We have new solutions on the roadmap to go beyond that (19–20m-plus), but that’s barely 2–3% of the market,” Danescu said.
For now, Dexory operates in the U.K. and Ireland across the logistics and supply chain sectors; air cargo; retail and e-commerce; and manufacturing, with clients such as Menzies Aviation; Denso Manufacturing U.K., Huboo, and Maersk. Indeed, today’s news comes a week after Maersk revealed it was extending its partnership with Dexory to include more warehouses in the U.K. and Ireland area, after entering into an initial proof-of-concept partnership back in January shortly after Dexory had rebranded from BotsAndUs.
With its fresh cash injection, Dexory has now raised a total of $37.9 million across its various rounds, and it’s planning to scale its platform into new markets, including the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands.
Aside from lead investor Atomico, Dexory’s Series A round included participation from early Facebook and Spotify investor Lakestar; Maersk Growth, the investment arm of Danish shipping and logistics giant (and Dexory customer) Maersk; London-based early-stage VC Kindred Capital; and Capnamic.