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Drones / Funding / Logistics / Robotics

Pittsburgh drone company revolutionizing supply chains with the next ‘barcode’ scores $17 million raise

The Squirrel Hill robotics firm uses drones to track products in warehouses, offering real-time inventory updates.

A Gather AI drone scans goods in a warehouse to come up with a real-time inventory (Courtesy Gather AI)

Gather AI has secured a $17 million Series A-1 raise and plans to scale up operations, the Squirrel Hill-based robotics company announced.

Founded in 2017, Gather AI designed a platform that sends autonomous drones to track products in warehouses. Its software platform takes drone scans and translates them into inventory information that can be viewed by warehouse managers in real time.

“We’re already seeing the positive impact of Gather AI on customers spanning third-party logistics, retail, food and beverage, and manufacturing,” said founder and CEO Sankalp Arora. “AI-powered cameras will transform supply-chain traceability to have a similar impact that barcodes did in the 1980s, and our technology is at the forefront of this transformation.”

The latest funding round was led by Bain Capital Ventures with participation from Tribeca Venture Partners, Dundee Venture Capital, Expa and Bling Capital. Investors said the Carnegie Mellon University-spinout was worthy of their support because of its unique technology.

“Gather AI’s cutting-edge computer vision and workflow software, purpose-built for inventory monitoring, has seen significant commercial adoption and rapid growth,” said Bain Capital partner Ajay Agarwal, in a release, “separating them from the field of other venture-backed startups.”

The tech was first deployed during the heart of the pandemic, when the fragility of the global supply chain became apparent and led to shortages of goods. It became more obvious new tools were needed, per Gather AI CEO Sankalp Arora.

“The majority of warehouses have access to technology that is from before the ecommerce boom, which has exacerbated the struggle to keep up with the changes in both industry demands and customer habits,” Arora said. “Since our first warehouse deployment in 2020, we have seen incredible demand. This funding round will help us meet the overwhelming interest.”

The company in 2022 raised a $10 million Series A round led by Tribeca Venture Partners with participation from Xplorer Capital, Dundee Venture Capital, Expa, Bling Capital, XRC Labs and 99 tartans — all previous investors. At the time, the company planned to use the funding for marketing as well as continued development of its platform.

With the new funding in hand, the plan is for Gather AI to continue helping its customers run their warehouses smoothly. 

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Carnegie Mellon University
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