California, US-based Mithril Capital Management LLC, an investment firm founded by Peter Thiel and Ajay Royan, has led a $140 million (~ Rs. 1,010 crores) Series C funding of Gurgaon-based robotics startup Grey Orange, making it the biggest fundraise by an Indian hardware startup to date. Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Mitsubishi and existing investor Blume Ventures also participated in this round. Royan from Mithril will join the Grey Orange board.

With this, Grey Orange has also become highest funded robotic startup in India and its valuation estimated to be between $400 million and $500 million, according to a report by Economic Times.

The startup will use the freshly raised capital in getting its own manufacturing supply chain and into R&D. The startup also plans to double down investments in its Boston R&D center, as well as into centers in India and Singapore.

Mithril, Japan's Mitsubishi and Binny Bansal have joined in Grey Orange as new investors. Other existing investors in the startup include Tiger Global, Flipkart, Mitsubishi and Project Verte.

Binny Bansal, Flipkart co-founder and Group CEO said, “As an entrepreneur myself, I have closely followed how Samay and Akash have built and grown GreyOrange to become an international technology company with customers across the world. I look forward to supporting and witnessing the new phase of their growth. The team will build on its strengths, especially in AI and machine learning, to launch new generation products for flexible automation.”

Founded in 2011, by Akash Gupta, Samay Kohli and Wolfgang Hoeltgen, GreyOrange is a 300+ employee startup creating hardware & software products for warehousing industry. The startup is headquartered in Singapore, with offices in India, Japan, Germany, and the US.

In September last year, we reported that Japan’s largest conglomerate Mitsubishi is considering acquiring a minority stake in GreyOrange Robotics. Since then, Mitsubishi was contemplating making an investment of less than $20 million that eventually led to this funding.

Prior to this in 2015, Grey Orange raised $30 million in a round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors Blume Ventures. In 2013, Grey Orange Robotics received angel funding from a consortium of investors led by Blume Ventures and BITS Spark Angels followed by funding of about Rs 54 crore in the round led by Tiger Global and Blume Ventures.

With its industrial automation solutions, Grey Orange counts Aramex, DTDC, Flipkart, Jabong, Mahindra, Myntra, and Pepperfry amongst its client list. GreyOrange's products include - 'Butler' and 'Linear Sorter'. While Sorter is a conveyor belt system fitted with robotic arms and advanced tools like dimensioning and weighing modules capable of sorting up to 6,000 packages per hour, Butler is said to be an artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous robot that "optimizes the supply chain process from inventory storage and replenishment to order picking."

[caption id="attachment_126049" align="aligncenter" width="700"] GreyOrange intelligent robotics systems deliver flexible, cost-effective supply chains to expedite distribution and fulfillment processes[/caption]

Samay Kohli, Co-Founder and CEO, GreyOrange said, “We are fortunate to have an experienced management team and investors with a common vision to build the next generation of flexible supply chain systems. Having a veteran board member and strategist like Ajay Royan join the board will help fulfill that vision faster. Fundraising events are important milestones in a company’s journey, and for GreyOrange, the funds will allow us to continue to invest in our R&D and supply chain to maintain our market-leading position.”

“As a global investor focused on emerging category leaders, Mithril is proud to partner with the GreyOrange team to advance our shared vision of a universal platform for flexible automation. As online and offline channels converge across a wide range of industries, we are excited to support robotic solutions that thoughtfully bridge the world of bits and the world of atoms, driving better health, safety and efficiency for workers and customers alike,” Ajay Royan said in a media statement.

Mithril is a global investment firm founded by Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel. The firm provide capital to leading growth companies by partnering with teams "who use technology to build transformative and durable businesses, often in industries long overdue for change", as mentioned the firm's Linkedin company page.

Peter, who chairs Mithril’s investment committee, cofounded PayPal and Palantir Technologies, which is a CIA-backed big data startup valued at $20 billion. He was the first outside investor in Facebook, and has made numerous other investments in highly successful technology companies. He created the Thiel Fellowship and established and funds the Thiel Foundation. He was educated at Stanford University.

Source - Grey Orange

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