July 28, 2021

Welcoming inVia Robotics to the M12 Portfolio


James Wu

I’m excited to welcome inVia Robotics—the provider of next-generation warehouse automation solutions—to the M12 portfolio as lead of their Series C round.

Global ecommerce accelerated exponentially during the pandemic as more consumers shopped online to adhere to stay-at-home mandates. Top retailers have set a highly competitive pace for fulfillment and delivery with heavily automated warehouses. Across the board, retailers are eager to pursue automation, motivated by customer expectations of speedy delivery as well as the cost and time efficiencies. But for smaller retailers, or distributed networks of micro fulfillment centers, the implementation of high CAPEX robotics has been inaccessible. inVia offers an easy entry point for companies of all sizes to pursue the business opportunity of automation with a flexible subscription-based service.

“The shortage of warehouse labor is our biggest challenge in keeping our customers’ orders fulfilled, and it’s been exacerbated by COVID-19. We looked at the industry-leading fixed automation systems and chose inVia. It’s what allows us to keep up with demand.”

– Jeff Collins | President | Cascade Orthopedic Supply

The inVia system leverages autonomous mobile robots, AI-powered optimization software, and dedicated monitoring teams to help ecommerce businesses and third-party logistics warehouses (3PLs) optimize operations. The company’s platform programmatically digitizes every logistics workflow, using AI to continually improve machines and employee actions. With proprietary algorithms, inVia Logic intelligent software orchestrates the most efficient movement of goods across a warehouse. inVia Picker robots accelerate mobile goods-to-person automation with the highest throughput per person in the industry. Robotics experts at inVia proactively monitor customer systems to identify any potential bottlenecks and train inVia’s AI engine to self-correct any errors that may occur in the future.

inVia’s robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) solution enables warehouse managers to take advantage of operational and cost efficiencies that have historically only been available to large enterprises. Their subscription-based business model makes automation adoption manageable and flexible—no CAPEX expenses or equipment maintenance required. The turnkey system can be seamlessly and quickly integrated into existing warehouse management systems (WMS), or set up to support new facilities, offering scalability with incredible ROI: 4-5X increases in productivity and accuracy rates of 99.9%.

Unlike other robotic providers who scale by selling more robots, inVia has taken a customer-centric approach. Flexible subscriptions allow customers to pay based on productivity output instead of other arbitrary indicators. Their solution also enables customers to experiment with warehouse layouts prior to deploying any robots; in other words, warehouse managers can stress test operations and calculate ROI before making a purchase decision. This flexible, scalable, and accessible solution has been met with incredible demand; inVia experienced a 600% annual revenue increase in 2021.

Headshot of inVia Robotics CEO Lior Elazary
Lior Elazary | CEO | inVia Robotics
Headshot of inVia Robotics COO Dan Parks
Dan Parks | COO | inVia Robotics
inVia Robotics CTO Randolph Voorhies
Randolph Voorhies | CTO | inVia Robotics

Led by a team with deep expertise in robotics, technology, and enterprise architecture businesses, inVia was founded in 2015 by CEO Lior Elazary, COO Dan Parks, and CTO Randolph Voorhies, who met while pursuing their PhDs in robotics at the University of Southern California. With roots in the USC Automation Lab and years of R&D experience, the leadership team is incredibly impressive, helmed by Lior’s 20+ years of leadership as an entrepreneur with three successful exits. 

inVia used earlier funding rounds to support product development; this latest round will be used to increase product adoption and operational support in North America, enable market expansion in APAC and EMEA, and align with strategic supply chain and channel partners. I’m excited to partner with other inVia investors including Qualcomm Ventures, Hitachi Ventures, Point 72 Ventures, Upfront Ventures, and Embark Ventures, and look forward to joining the inVia Robotics board as a director. 

Congratulations to Lior, Dan, Randolph, and the entire team on this major milestone. We look forward to your continued growth!