Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Magazino closes €20m financing for warehouse robots

Steve Rogerson
March 13, 2018

German warehouse robotics start-up Magazino has closed a €20.1m financing round with new investors including the international technology group Körber, Cellcom, Zalando and Fiege Logistics. The round is led by the Körber Group and is one of the largest funding rounds for robotics start-ups in Europe.
The funding will enable Magazino to continue its robotics development as well as expand the company’s sales and distribution network both in Germany and internationally.
"The Magazino team has developed real innovations with its robotics that have the potential to make a lasting impact on intralogistics," said Michael Horn, member of the executive board of Körber. "The partnership offers decisive added value, in particular for customers of our business area logistics systems. At the same time, our investment strengthens our position in a competitive market environment. In addition, as part of our digitisation initiatives, we will work with the Magazino team to drive forward future-oriented developments."
Magazino develops and builds perception-driven, mobile robots that automate the handling and transport of goods within intralogistics, in a flexible and scalable way. The start-up's technology enables dynamic warehousing and order picking as well as intelligent material disposition in ecommerce and assembly lines.
With the ability to handle individual objects fully autonomously, Magazino says it closes one of the central gaps in the automation of manual logistics processes, which opens up opportunities to make processes and companies more efficient.
"We are delighted to have such an impressive group of investors backing us,” said Frederik Brantner, co-founder and CEO of Magazino. “With the involvement of leading technology corporations, as well as the largest European players in ecommerce and fulfilment, Magazino is perfectly positioned for continued growth.”
Through their financing, the investors secure access to Magazino’s technology including the software stack Acros (advanced cooperative robot operation system), which forms the brain of the robot. This software stack is designed to allow non-deterministic, perception-driven robots to operate in environments that were originally made for humans.
“Logistics is one of our core competencies; driving customer satisfaction, the scalability of our business, and efficiency of operations,” said David Schröder, senior vice president at Zalando. “We believe pairing passionate employees with cutting-edge technology leads to the best possible results in all three dimensions. Our investment into Magazino grants us access to a leading technology that is highly compatible with our existing infrastructure and can be deployed flexibly to support employees in our fulfilment centres.”
Magazino’s portfolio includes a number of robot systems that are used for various operations, depending on the shape, weight and size of objects. The central development is the mobile order-picking robot Toru. Whereas, previously, only entire load carriers such as pallets or boxes could be automatically retrieved, Toru enables the picking and handling of individual objects, such as shoe boxes.
Using 3D camera technology and numerous sensors, the robots can localise, identify and securely grasp objects on shelves. Having picked, Toru stores objects for transportation before delivering them to the desired destination.
Fiege is not only a new investor, but also one of several users that have already implemented Toru.
“We will now be further consolidating our two-year partnership with Magazino and look forward to contributing even more towards the shared development of robotics in logistics,” said Jens Fiege, member of the family business’ executive board. “We know that this technology will decidedly define the future of logistics.”
In a distribution centre in northern Germany, several of the intelligent robots support the Fiege warehouse team in picking shoes that have been purchased online. To continue its rollout of this technology, Fiege has already ordered 30 additional robots from Magazino.