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Boxbot Raises $12M Series A Led by Playground Global to Help Last Mile Carriers Increase Productivity at Significantly Lower Cost

Boxbot’s three-dimensional conveyor system transforms package handling by merging intelligent software with a novel hardware platform designed for high throughput operations

Boxbot, the vertical automation solution that sorts and stores packages for last-mile carriers, announced today a $12 million Series A round, led by Playground Global. Maersk Growth (the venture arm of A.P. Moller), Toyota Ventures, Pear Ventures, and Artiman Ventures also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $29.5 million. The funds will be used to accelerate the company’s mission of enabling carriers to provide more efficient delivery experiences and bolster the team’s engineering and business operations. Playground Global Venture Partner Richard Peretz, former CFO at UPS, will join the company’s board of directors.

“Boxbot is modernizing conveyor belts for smarter dispatch,” said Richard Peretz. “I’ve seen firsthand that there is a massive opportunity to shift manual processes to machine-enabled smart and efficient solutions leveraging software and hardware. Boxbot’s one-stop solution is a versatile and integrated system that works across a variety of areas in the supply chain.”

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“The next phase will be about using automation to enable volume growth through higher productivity, especially as the lasting impact of labor shortages and inflation are acutely felt.”

Boxbot transforms conveyors into intelligent, three-dimensional package handling systems. The platform can store, sort, and sequence size-agnostic, high throughput payloads while requiring a minimal physical footprint. Storage density is maximized by dynamically adapting the space required for each payload in real time. The system is designed for flexibility and can be easily installed in both new or existing facilities.

Last mile delivery continues to be the most operationally complex and resource-intensive component of parcel logistics. With their solution, Boxbot is driving down the cost of last mile delivery through warehouse automation that unlocks transformative applications. These include wave-based vehicle dispatch, real-time route density optimization, merge-in-transit that reduces last mile stop count, consumer pick-up/drop-off, and bonded storage.

“Carriers have expanded their network capacities aggressively during the hypergrowth phase of e-commerce preceding and throughout COVID,” said Boxbot founder and CEO Austin Oehlerking. “The next phase will be about using automation to enable volume growth through higher productivity, especially as the lasting impact of labor shortages and inflation are acutely felt.”

Global package volume continues to rise: Pitney Bowes reported more than 159 billion parcels were shipped in 2021, up 21% from 2020, and is likely to reach 205 billion parcels in 2024. Consumers demand better service levels while still expecting free delivery, reinforcing the need for core productivity improvements. More than 90% of consumers view 2-day or 3-day delivery as the standard, and 30% expect same day delivery, according to a recent McKinsey report. However, only 20% of consumers are willing to pay more for faster shipping when free delivery options are available.

The Boxbot team, drawing on deep expertise from the worlds of factory automation, robotics, and logistics, realized that no company addressed these core challenges with a single product. Their layered, modular system provides significant efficiency and performance improvements to parcel logistics and enables sustained volume growth in the years to come.

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