SVT Robotics raises $3.5M in seed round

SVT Robotics, a startup whose software accelerates and simplifies deployment of industrial robotics, announced that it has completed a seed round of $3.5 million. Cowboy Ventures led the investment round, with Dynamo Ventures, Schematic Ventures, Ludlow Ventures and NRV participating.

Founded in 2018, SVT Robotics is riding a surge of interest in robot deployments in the warehousing and manufacturing sectors. The company seeks to streamline a “disparate, highly fragmented technology environment” by creating a central platform that enables rapid robotics integration, SVT Robotics CEO and co-founder A.K. Schultz told FreightWaves.

Elaborating on its platform-as-a-service offering, Shultz said many companies hook up their robotics technology to warehouse management and other host systems, but those “big and complex” networks become “brittle” and difficult to upgrade.

SVT aims to avoid these bottlenecks. Instead of having robot companies connect directly to enterprise systems, they connect to SVT, which serves as an intermediary, routing those communications where they need to go. Then, “once we connect our enterprise system,” Shultz explained, “we have the instant ability to integrate with any robot system on our platform.”

This approach allows the company to deploy complex systems in under six months, “even as low as three months,” according to Schultz.

“That’s insanely quickly,” he observed.

Speed of deployment is especially attractive to third-party logistics companies (3PLs), which comprise two-thirds of SVT’s customer base and need flexibility in order to deploy diverse robotics solutions.

In addition to end customers like 3Pls, SVT targets technology companies and the integrator market. The platform is an open platform, and integrators that work with SVT get access to the startup’s software development kit. “We don’t want to create another bottleneck,” Schultz said.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for robot adoption to keep up with supply chain demands, the company said, and SVT is already seeing an uptick in chatter about robotics from companies that have yet to embrace the technology. “It’s going to be one of these situations where everyone wants everything now,” Schultz said.

He said the investment round will allow SVT Robotics to hire more developers and “speed up development of our road map.”

“We at NRV are honored to work alongside the SVT Robotics team of industry experts and developers,” said Scott Ukrop, managing director at NRV, in a press statement. “Their platform is unique in its ability to seamlessly and quickly bridge robotic hardware and business systems. It’s a solution that’s needed now more than ever.”