British online supermarket Ocado acquires robotics tech startup Myrmex for $10.2 million
Ocado, a British online supermarket, announced Monday it has agreed to buy materials handling robotics tech startup Myrmex Inc for $10.2 million. In 2020, Ocado recently acquired a minority stake in Athens-based Myrmex.
Ocado said that the acquisition of Myrmex will enable a faster rollout of the ‘Automated Frameload’ solution (AFL) across Ocado Group’s global CFC footprint, as well as open up new opportunities for the development of bespoke automation solutions for the Ocado Smart Platform.
The announcement also comes two years after Ocado acquired San Francisco-based robotics startup Kindred Ai for $262 million and Las Vegas-based startup Haddington Dynamics for $25 million.
Kindred is an advanced AI-powered robotics company based in North America that designs, supplies, and services sophisticated piece-picking robots for e-commerce and order fulfillment. Kindred has developed machines with human-like intelligence. Kindred Systems, which has around 45 engineers and 90 staff in total, builds robots that are used to pick and pack online orders, while Haddington Dynamics creates robotic arms.
As part of the acquisition agreement, a team of over 30 people from Myrmex with deep domain expertise in automation hardware and software will join Ocado Technology’s 2,500-strong team of technologists.
In a statement, James Gralton, Chief Engineering Officer at Ocado Technology said: “We are excited to welcome Myrmex to Ocado Group. We’ve been impressed with Myrmex’s capabilities and their ability to design, develop and bring to market bespoke solutions. The collaboration between Ocado Group and Myrmex led to the launch of Automated Frameload in a little over a year. This acquisition is another important step on our automation journey.”
Founded in 2014 by Ioannis Kanellos and Orestis Fainekos, Myrmex is a provider of unmanned grocery delivery systems that leverage the power of mobile robotic units.