Ocado-backed robotics start-up seeks to pierce Middle East market

Published: 22 October 2020 - 5:38 a.m.

A robotics start-up is looking to expand into the Middle East market after selling a stake of the business to online supermarket delivery giant Ocado Group.

Ocado Group has secured intellectual property from Myrmex Inc and has appointed the robotics firm to design and develop a bespoke product. Ocado Group also has the option to participate in future finance offerings.

Myrmex is a materials handling robotics start-up whose portfolio includes autonomous mobile robots and intelligent asset handling systems.

Myrmex’s suite of solutions enables click-and-collect deliveries, allowing the industry to respond to the accelerated demand for smart deliveries created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said.

“With over 20 years of experience in transforming online grocery through cutting-edge technology and automation, Ocado Group is widely recognised as the leader in this space,” said George Katiniotis, CEO of Myrmex.

“The company’s investment is testament to Myrmex’s robotics and automation capabilities and will enable us to accelerate the commercialisation of our product portfolio.”

Alex Harvey, Engineering Director for OSP Handling Robotics at Ocado Technology, said: “We’ve been impressed with Myrmex’s capabilities and are excited about the potential synergies with our existing business. As the shift to online grocery accelerates, we are moving even faster in adding automation to our end-to-end offering. Myrmex can play a part in that journey.”

Myrmex is targeting the Middle East online market, mostly focusing on the last mile delivery part of the sector.

The system is capable of delivering an online order just a few seconds after the customer arrives at the pick-up point. The system also takes care of replenishment, returns, temperature controls, and payment methods.

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