Simbe Robotics adds Tony Fadel, David Pakman and Ryan Gembala to Board along with raising $26m Series A financing led by Venrock

– USA, CA –  Simbe Robotics, Inc., the company leveraging robotics and AI to provide physical retail with unparalleled insights into inventory and operations, today announced two separate funding deals – a Series A equity financing round and an inventory financing agreement with SoftBank Robotics, allowing the company to increase efficiencies in production and deployment of Simbe’s Tally robot. With the Series A round, three renowned industry experts join Simbe’s governing Board of Directors, positioning the company to continue scaling global expansion to meet market demand.

With the close of the Series A financing, Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape, iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor and Founder of Nest; David Pakman, Partner at Venrock; and Ryan Gembala, Managing Partner at Pathbreaker Ventures will be joining Simbe’s Board of Directors.

“Every brick-and-mortar shopper, store associate, and brand needs to know ‘What’s happening on the shelf?’ Simbe’s Tally solves this problem!” said Tony Fadell, Principal at Future Shape and Simbe board member. “The company’s proven technology and ROI is improving the bottom lines of well-known grocers and retailers on multiple continents. Now it’s time to scale Simbe’s data and hardware platform to revolutionize many more stores.”

With significant validation and backing from premier firms, Simbe will leverage this unique blend of equity and inventory financing to build on the momentum and significant growth the company has experienced to date. This includes a focus on growing its team, expanding its fleet of Tally robots into new markets, accelerating its deployments with existing partners, and unlocking more value in-store with new capabilities, furthering Simbe’s mission of revitalizing brick-and-mortar retail with e-commerce level insight.

“Our investors, both previous and new, provide much more than financial support. They are advocates and trusted advisors who bring invaluable institutional knowledge to all facets of our business,” said Brad Bogolea, Co-Founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics. “Both our equity financing partners and the SoftBank Robotics team are deeply aligned with Simbe’s vision to revitalize physical retail through data. We are at a pivotal time of growth and value their support as we continue to transform retail at a global scale.”

The $26 million Series A was led by Venrock with participation from Future Shape, Valo Ventures, and Activant Capital. These top-tier investors have a deep understanding of the retail, robotics, and technology industries and will support Simbe with invaluable knowledge and guidance as the company begins a new phase of growth. The equity capital will go toward business operations including growing the team of world-class talent; scaling sales, marketing and customer success functions; and continued investment in R&D.

“The Simbe team is building one of the most interesting datasets in retail, capturing inventory and pricing data that hasn’t been available before. With Simbe, retail stores can free up scarce labor to spend more time doing high-value activities like interacting with customers. Retail is changing, and stores must modernize to succeed in today’s environment,” said David Pakman, partner at Venrock and Simbe board member. “The Simbe team has impressed me from the start, and they are uniquely equipped to bring this new reality to retail.”

In early 2018, Simbe and SoftBank Robotics America began a partnership to leverage SoftBank Robotics’ international reach and operational efficiencies to scale Simbe’s business globally. Following the initial success of the partnership, SBR and Simbe will expand their collaboration to include inventory financing, accelerating Simbe’s global deployment of its fully autonomous retail robot, Tally. The funds will support scaled manufacturing of an additional 1,000 Tally units over the coming two years. SoftBank Robotics has deployed more than 25,000 robots globally and has the infrastructure in place to support Simbe’s need to scale manufacturing, shipping, deployment, and field services of Tally robots globally. The investment underscores the need for automation throughout the retail industry and points to the new, blossoming Robotics-as-a-Service model, a model SoftBank Robotics has adopted for the future of automation across multiple industries.

“Building on the momentum of our partnership with Simbe and our focus on augmenting the workforce through automation, inventory financing was a natural next step to bring more Tally robots to market, faster. The retail space is hungry for autonomous solutions to common pain points, and Simbe has exceeded expectations in designing, building, and deploying Tally robots worldwide,” said Kass Dawson, Head of Business Strategy at Softbank Robotics. “The feedback from retail partners and consumers alike has been overwhelmingly positive – which is reflected in retailers’ demand for more Tally units on a global scale. Simbe and SoftBank Robotics’ synergistic partnership helps solve that demand and is demonstrative of the types of mutually beneficial partnerships the robotics industry should be moving toward.”

About Simbe Robotics

Simbe Robotics is the global leader in automation solutions that give retailers unprecedented visibility and insight into the state of their store environments while improving inventory and operational challenges. Simbe is a privately held, venture-backed company headquartered in San Francisco, CA and works with major worldwide retailers and brands across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

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About Venrock

Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock partners with entrepreneurs to build some of the world’s most disruptive, successful companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare, portfolio companies have included Apple, AveXis, Centocor, Dollar Shave Club, DoubleClick, Gilead, Idec Pharma, Illumina, Intel, Millennium, ShockWave, Nest, and Zeltiq.

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About SoftBank Robotics America

SoftBank Robotics America, headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Boston, is elevating humanity through robotics. Softbank is constantly exploring and commercializing robotics solutions that help make people’s lives easier, safer, more connected, and more extraordinary. Known for Pepper and NAO, SBRA’s humanoid robots, SBRA is also a strong supporter of STREAM education and advancing automation to augment everyday work and life.

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