German technology company Innok Robotics, a developer and manufacturer of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) that can also be used outdoors, has brought a new major investor on board. Entrepreneur Heinz Ferchau, founder of Ferchau Engineering, one of Germany’s largest engineering service providers, has provided Innok Robotics with €4 million in equity capital as part of a financing round, thus acquiring a significant stake in the company.
The total volume of the financing round, which has just been closed, amounts to 5 million euros. In addition to Ferchau, other new and existing investors participated in the financing, including German mid-market investor Prolimity Capital Partners. Prolimity joined Innok Robotics in September 2021 and continues to hold a majority stake together with the company’s founders after the financing round.
The investment in the company is Heinz Ferchau’s first private “scale-up” investment. “I am extremely convinced of the quality and opportunities of the technology Innok Robotics is developing. I was particularly impressed by the outdoor capabilities of Innok Robotics’ AMRs, which I have not seen anywhere else,” says Heinz Ferchau. “In addition, Innok Robotics is a highly dynamic company with very capable engineers working there. This is ‘German Engineering at its best’, and I am pleased to be able to support Innok Robotics in its global conquest of the rapidly growing AMR market.”
Innok Robotics, founded in 2012, is one of the technology leaders in the global AMR market, which is currently estimated to be worth $3 billion. Market researchers expect the market to grow by more than 50 percent per year in the next few years as AMR technology continues to develop. By 2026, it is expected to reach a volume of $14 billion.
The startup develops fully integrated AMR systems that include both software and vehicle hardware, as well as state-of-the-art 2D and 3D sensor technology based on artificial intelligence. Innok Robotics’ software, laser scanners and high-precision GPS technology enable fully autonomous operation of AMRs in both indoor and outdoor environments. The high-tech company from Regensburg is already working with well-known industrial groups such as TotalEnergies, HILTI, Infineon, K+S, Daimler, Nokia, E.on as well as the Landgard Group.
“The successful financing round is a real turbo for our current entry into the scale-up phase in the coming years, in which we will realize significant revenue growth,” said a delighted Innok Robotics founder, CEO and Chief Technology Officer Alwin Heerklotz. “On behalf of the entire team, I would like to thank the investors for their confidence in our company and our technology. Together, we will make Innok Robotics one of the world’s leading players in outdoor-enabled AMR technology in the years to come.”
Innok Robotics will use the additional capital to finance the increase in personnel required for its planned growth. The company is mainly planning to hire new engineers, software developers and sales managers. Further funds will be used to build up working capital in order to be able to offer customers AMRs with very short delivery times, as well as to support the ramp-up of the company’s own manufacturing and production by partners. Founder Alwin Heerklotz said, “With top new hires and expanded capacity, we have everything we need to further accelerate our growth and continue to multiply our revenues in the coming years.”
Innok Robotics has already initiated the scale-up phase: In the current fiscal year, 2022, revenues will more than double from the previous year. The outdoor AMR pioneer expects even greater growth rates in the coming year. “Our growth plans are underpinned by numerous trade fair participations, high interest from the market, and advanced talks with additional well-known industry partners,” reports Heerklotz.
Innok Robotics will grow in other application fields for AMR systems in addition to its core business areas of transport/intralogistics, irrigation/agriculture and inspection/monitoring. These include autonomous robots for mining (potash + salt), construction and construction machinery, outdoor surface cleaning and photovoltaic field operation. “AMR technology will grow very dynamically and in the future will become a key technology for tomorrow’s society, alongside pure industrial robotics, primarily because of the progressive shortage of personnel in virtually all industrialized countries,” Heerklotz is convinced.
In the fundraising of Innok Robotics, teams from EY Munich as corporate finance advisor, Luther Rechtsanwälte Frankfurt as legal advisor and RSW Steuerberater in Biberach provided support.
ABOUT INNOK ROBOTICS
Innok Robotics, founded in 2012, is one of the technology and market leaders in highly innovative “Autonomous Mobile Robots” (AMRs), which can also operate in outdoor environments. Market researchers expect the global AMR market to grow over 50 percent annually from $3 billion (2021) to $14 billion by 2026.
Innok Robotics develops and manufactures fully integrated and reliable AMR systems that include Innok COCKPIT navigation and control software as well as robust vehicle hardware and state-of-the-art 2D/3D laser sensor technology. Innok Robotics’ AMRs increasingly use artificial intelligence, can be flexibly deployed by companies of all sizes, and feature very short payback times. In addition to indoor use, they can also operate autonomously outdoors and in difficult terrain. They can be maintained remotely and counter the well-known shortage of personnel by supplementing or replacing human labor with machine labor.
Based on Innok’s proprietary HEROS platform, Innok Robotics can quickly and cost-effectively develop AMRs for a wide range of requirements. Application areas where Innok’s AMR systems are already in use include factories, logistics centers, mines and oil refineries. Customers include global corporations such as TotalEnergies, HILTI, Infineon, K+S, Daimler, Nokia, E.on, and larger medium-sized companies such as the Landgard Group.
TEXT: INNOK ROBOTICS