Sunday, January 30, 2022

Venture Capital: They're Growing Unicorns In France

I went to EU-Startups to look at the robot company:

Exotec picks up €293 million and becomes France’s first industrial unicorn

And while there, saw two other unicorns:

Ankorstore secures €250 million with a €1.75 billion valuation to become France’s latest unicorn

Fintech startup Qonto joins French unicorn list after raising €486 million, with a €4.4 billion valuation

Readers who have been with us a while may remember me going on and on about the paucity of hundred million dollar (or euro) rounds. Well, no longer, something's changed. Here's Exotec, January 17:

Lille-based Exotec, a European pioneer in global warehouse robotics, has just received a mega funding round of €293 million, becoming France’s first industrial unicorn for its robotic systems that are improving supply chain resilience for global retailers.

The Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round with follow-on investments from 83North and Dell Technologies Capital.

The pandemic and the abrupt changes it brought about to our shopping habits and general day-to-day lives highlighted how critical supply chain operations are to modern life. Globally, many communities continue to feel the negative impacts of ongoing disruptions and breakdowns, and the infamous toilet paper shortages in supermarkets aren’t too distant a memory. 

From inventory delays to port congestion, these compounding challenges are only anticipated to increase in frequency and severity. A recent report from Resilinc revealed that supply chain disruptions were up 67% year-over-year. 

Founded in 2015, Exotec is a global robotics company that is building scalable warehouse robotic solutions to power the worlds largest brands. Its flexible warehouse automation improves operational efficiency and economics. Exotec’s signature solution, The Skypod system, utilizes robots that can reach a height of 36 feet to enable high-density inventory storage and retrieval. Exotec supports 30+ industry-leading brands spanning e-commerce, grocery, retail, manufacturing, and 3PL sectors. 

 Romain Moulin, Co-founder and CEO of Exotec, said: “Following the most significant supply chain disruptions of the modern era, there’s only room left for innovationWhile the entire logistics sector is fraught with uncertainty, one of the most prevalent challenges is ongoing labour shortages. Exotec pioneers a new path: elegant collaboration between human and robot workers that delivers warehouse productivity in a lasting, far more sustainable way.”

 In 2020, the company picked up €77.1 million from Dell Technologies Capital, and was supported by historical investors, Iris Capital and Breega which massively accelerated growth. Since then, the company has doubled its revenue and tripled its customer base....


Previously on Exotec:
October 2, 2020
Warehousing Logistics: "Lille-based Exotec raises €77.1 million to support the international expansion of its warehouse robotics solutions"

In light of the downturn in the German economy, and Germany's apparent choice to go its own way politically, Europe is going to need a new engine to pull the economic train and if the engine is going to be France, it will have to have some unicorns in the corral.

Hence our ongoing interest in the French VC scene.