Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd., is expected to invest around Rs 300 crore (~$40.2 million) to pick up a minority stake in Noida-based warehouse-focused robotics startup Addverb Technologies.
If the transaction goes forward, Addverb Technologies will be valued between Rs 1,590 – Rs 1,660 crore, according to a VCCircle report citing two people familiar with the matter. Reliance Industries, however, has yet to comment on the matter.
Addverb Technologies, founded by former Asian Paints executives Sangeet Kumar, Satish Shukla, Bir Singh, Neeraj Sharma, Prateek Jain, and Amit Kumar in 2016. The company claims that its solutions assist businesses optimize space utilization in warehouses and factories by employing robotics and warehouse automation expertise. It serves major industries which include e-commerce marketplace, health, grocery, aviation, retail, fashion, pharmaceuticals, third-party logistics, and auto parts.
Addverb Technologies, whose clients include Amazon, Coca-Cola, Flipkart, and ITC, has secured more than $10 million in two tranches of funding from Jalaj Ashwin Dani, the co-promoter of Asian Paints Ltd., in 2017 and 2019.
Sangeet Kumar, CEO of Addverb Technologies, stated in October that the company wants to expand its robot manufacturing operation in India to increase output by about tenfold in the coming fiscal year. It also stated that overseas operations would probably start in Singapore, Australia, Europe, and the United States by the end of 2021.
This year, Reliance Retail has completed a number of acquisitions. Its investment in Addverb is strongly connected with its goal of strengthening its offering portfolio and cementing its position.
It acquired a 100 percent controlling stake in the retail lingerie companies under the ‘amante’ umbrella brand from MAS Brands, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka-based MAS Holdings, last month. In September of this year, it acquired a 40.98 percent stake in Just Dial Limited for Rs 5,713 crore through preferential allotment of shares and an open offer.
Last year, Reliance Retail received around $6.4 billion in external funding from investors including US-based private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, private equity firm KKR & Co., Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co.
In similar news, a bunch of robotics-related startups has attracted significant funding in the recent past. Unbox Robotics, a Pune-based software-defined supply chain robotics technology startup, raised $7 million in its Series A round of funding led by 3one4 Capital earlier this month. IPO bound logistics and e-commerce supply chain firm Delhivery acquired California-based Transition Robotics, a startup developing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) platforms.