It appears to be the height of drone delivery season. A few weeks ago, Gather AI acquired rival Ware following an executive reshuffle, and shortly thereafter, San Jose-based B Garage secured a $20 million Series A.
Today, Swiss startup Verity announced an $11 million funding injection. The extension of a $32 million Series B announced in March, bringing the total amount raised to $43 million, is the reason for the addition. A partnership with Ikea that delivered 100 of the company’s drones to 16 of the furniture giant’s European warehouses has helped propel the company to the forefront of its industry.
Verity notes that its drones have been deployed in thirteen countries to date but has not provided additional deployment metrics. The addressable market is obviously enormous. When third-party logistics firms, retailers, and manufacturers are considered, there are innumerable shelves that must be inventoried.
Several companies, such as Simbe and Bossa Nova, have emphasized front-of-store display scanning. However, the scale, scope, and height of warehouse shelves present a unique set of obstacles. Dexory, situated in London, provides a relatively unique solution. The wheeled robot’s extending scaffolding system allows it to reach levels that are difficult to access.
Drones are, in many ways, uniquely qualified for the task. They are small, agile, and capable of reaching the topmost shelves. It’s a logical tool for the task, so it makes sense that so many startups have flooded the nascent space, which also includes Corvus, backed by Y Combinator. Systems that allow drones to fly indoors and avoid collisions with limited connectivity are, so to speak, the secret ingredient.
The latest funding round for Verity was led by A.P. Moller Holding and prominently included Qualcomm Ventures.
“The future supply chain is autonomous and automated,” says Boaz Peer of Qualcomm Ventures. “Autonomous drone technology from Verity and advanced warehouse inventory analytics are transforming supply chains by facilitating end-to-end, real-time visibility. We are thrilled to invest in Verity as it expands its international operations.”
Undoubtedly, Qualcomm has a vested interest in the supply chain and logistics industries, which have been plagued by uncertainty over the past few years. Inventory is one of the best candidates for automation in the industry, as labor shortages have increased interest in automation across the board.
Several drone inventory firms with whom I’ve spoken indicate that scaling has been difficult due to a backlog of potential customers. Accordingly, Verity claims this round will be used for scaling and bringing its solution to market.