Fetch Robotics acquisition accelerates Zebra’s growth in intelligent automation

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Zebra Technologies is to enter the warehouse robotics arena with the acquisition of Fetch Robotics, a leading company in on-demand automation. Fetch’s Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are used for optimised picking in fulfilment centres and distribution centres, just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in any facility.

“The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments,” said Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra Technologies.

In addition to Fetch Robotics’ broad portfolio of AMRs, it offers cloud-based Enterprise Software, FetchCore as the foundational platform for deploying and fully integrating a broad range of automated workflows into manufacturing and warehouse operations and providing unique insights into facilities through machine learning on AMR sensor data. The planned acquisition furthers Zebra’s vision to bring advanced robotics solutions to customers who have labour-intensive operations.

Zebra’s focus on robotics automation combines workflow solutions for human workers, including current Zebra offerings such as FulfillmentEdge and SmartSight with Fetch Robotics’ solutions. The result will provide an innovative offering that drives greater efficiencies and higher ROI through better orchestration of technology and people.

“The Fetch team is excited to join Zebra and accelerate the adoption of flexible automation through AMRs and our cloud-based robotics platform. Together we have the right team with the right technology to provide end-to-end solutions that solve real customer problems,” said Melonee Wise, CEO of Fetch Robotics. “By helping customers dynamically optimise and holistically orchestrate their fulfilment, distribution, and manufacturing operations, together we help enable their ability to stay ahead of growing demand, minimise delivery times and address shrinking labor pools.”

“Our goal is to give robots and people the opportunity to do their very best work,” said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies. “This acquisition is a continuation of what we expect to be a series of innovations that reflect our commitment to creating solutions that help our customers improve their operations through robotics.”

Zebra expects to fund the US$290 million purchase price – for the 95% of the business it does not already own – with cash on hand. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

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