Pi Labs invests in Europe’s largest robotics marketplace platform

Pi Labs, Europe’s most active PropTech investor, has backed WAKU Robotics, Europe’s largest mobile robot marketplace and robot fleet hardware analytics platform.

WAKU Robotics is a Berlin-based company that uses AI-powered software to optimise the performance of robots operating in the logistics and manufacturing sector.

It has now secured funding from the UK, Germany and Silicon Valley, reflecting advancements in technology which mean that by 2030 nearly 20 million warehouse jobs are predicted to be undertaken by robots.

WAKU’s business model aligns with this technological revolution in robotics by helping its customers to determine the robot specification that is best suited to different types of logistics workplaces. This is achieved through its comparison platform “Lots of Bots” that has been set up to enable warehouses and logistics managers to identify the appropriate logistics robot.

The platform has almost 200 mobile robots from around 190 manufacturers and is the first of its kind to guide customers through the currently fragmented robotics market.

Another function of its platform - “WAKU Sense” - is designed to monitor in real time the performance of robot fleets in order ensure maximum performance and make operating robots seamless and automated. This robot ‘boot camp’ is able to deliver a view on diagnostics remotely and at scale.

Pi Labs’ investment in WAKU forms part of the PropTech VC’s strategy to broadens its international ambition and footprint by investing in the most innovative PropTech entrepreneurs from around the world. Earlier this year, Pi Labs commenced its ninth accelerator programme, which has grown Pi Labs’ global portfolio to 60 companies across three continents.

Faisal Butt, CEO and Founder of Pi Labs, said: “In the past, the benefits of automation were limited because of the high cost of the technology, the considerable time required to implement it and the fact that each machine could perform only one function. Today, though, the emergence of more flexible, intelligent robots is making it more viable.

“WAKU’s platform is taking advantage of the increasing demand for warehouse digitalisation worldwide by helping customers find the best solution to meet today’s exploding fulfilment challenge.”

Sander Nijssen, Co-CEO of WAKU Robotics, says: “Funding from investors like Pi Labs will helps us to set up development partnerships with market leaders in the warehousing and manufacturing sectors.

“What we noticed during Covid is that the interest in robots and proof of concepts on-site, accelerated during this time. Clients who are procuring mobile robots noticed that robots bring more reliability to their operations – and warehouse and logistics managers also understand that investing in mobile robots will help achieve a real competitive advantage.”