In order to cut costs and speed up deliveries, Amazon is all set to invest in a French warehouse robotics firm, Balyo. Amazon’s investment in Balyo over the next seven years is expected to provide the latter with the boost it needs to sell its technology for self-driving forklift trucks.
For the time being, Amazon, currently the world’s largest online retailer, is using the robots developed by a company it bought in 2012 for $775 million called Kiva Systems. But development in warehouse automation is something the company is evidently looking forward to in order to make its selling process more cost-effective.
The terms of the deal entitle Amazon to be the recipient of free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of Balyo’s capital which it can then exercise on the basis of orders placed for the company’s products. This means that when exercising the 29% in its entirety, Amazon will be able to place orders of up to 300 million euros ($346 million) for Balyo’s enabled products.
This agreement … represents an unprecedented opportunity for Balyo to grow its business and supports the soundness of our investments over the years to perfect our robotic solutions. – Fabien Bardinet, Balyo Chief Executive
Balyo, for its part, is using a navigation system to turn forklifts into self-driving vehicles. The company is expecting its 2018 revenue to round off at 23.3 million euros, a 40 percent increment over the previous year.