March 29, 2021

ForwardX Warehouse Funding400x275China’s ForwardX Robotics, which develops AI-powered autonomous mobile robots for warehousing and manufacturing environments, has announced raising more than $38 million in a Series B funding round. Since its founding in 2016, ForwardX has raised close to $74 million in venture capital.

The round was led by CDH Investments’ VGC, Eastern Bell Capital, and Dohold Capital, with participation by Angel Around and ZGC Group. Previous funding rounds included $10 million in March 2019 and $15 million in April 2020.

“Our customers in the warehousing and manufacturing industries come to us to transform their operations and help them unlock new levels of efficiency that were previously unattainable,” said Nicolas Chee, founder and CEO of ForwardX. “ForwardX Robotics’ flexible automation platform enables supply chain facilities to elevate worker performance, reduce growing labor cost pressures, and adapt quickly and effectively to changes in the market.”

The company provides a combination of intelligent mobile fleets and AI-driven fleet management software to empower warehouses and factors to double worker productivity while reducing labor-related costs, such as wages, recruitment costs, and training, the company said. Through the platform, it can help facilities become more agile and resilient when faced with fluctuating volume, increasingly complex processes, and rising external cost pressures.

“Last year, we cooperated with ForwardX on a project as part of our 5G digital transformation initiative,” said Caijun Zhao, head of the President’s Office at TCL Industries Holdings, a subsidiary of TCL Technology. “Our aim was to achieve unmanned material handling across the factory. The project has been successful so far with seamless collaboration between (ForwardX’s) AMRs, workers, machines, and the loading carts. We are now looking towards the second and third phases of the project.”

ForwardX said it will use the new funding to accelerate the development of new products and existing products while expanding its market share across China and the U.S. In addition, the company plans to invest in new international markets, including Japan, Germany, and the U.K.

“The next three to five years will be seen as the golden age of the AMR industry,” said Mingyu Wang, a senior partner at CDH Investments. “With ForwardX’s multi-robot cluster scheduling capabilities and ability to commercialize its solution, we are very optimistic about ForwardX’s future and the value it will create in the AMR field.” Interact Analysis has predicted that AMRs for logistics will reach a $9 billion market by 2024.

More details on the company are available here.