Pioneers in food processing joining hands
Marel is pleased to announce the acquisition of a minority stake in Soft Robotics Inc, a US based industry-leading robotics company and a strategic partnership focused on selected solutions in core markets.
Marel acquires shares in Soft Robotics Inc
Marel, Tyson Ventures and a group of investors have joined hands to invest in Soft Robotics Inc., an industry-leading technology company that designs and builds automated picking solutions utilizing proprietary soft robotic grippers, 3D machine perception and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As a pioneer in transforming food processing and a strategic partner for disruptive innovators, Marel is proud to partner with world leaders in food production and automation who share a vision to provide sustainable nutrition to a growing global population.
Marel invested a total of USD 3 million in Soft Robotics. The investment was part of Soft Robotics‘ initial Series C where the company raised a total of USD 26 million from new and existing investors. The transaction closed on 17 November 2022. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Soft Robotics has around 50 employees and expected revenues of USD 5 million in 2022.
Soft Robotics will use the funds to expand commercial deployment of its mGripAI™ robotic picking solutions and soft grasping allowing industrial robots the hand-eye coordination of humans. This unprecedented combination of robotic “hands,” “eyes,” and “brains” enables, for the first time ever, the use of high-speed industrial arms to automate bulk picking processes throughout protein, produce, dairy, baked goods, and prepared foods operations. This round of growth capital strengthens Soft Robotics' ability to rapidly develop, deploy and support those technologies.
Launch of strategic partnership between Marel and Soft Robotics
Marel is also pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Soft Robotics. Marel has invested 6% of revenues in innovation annually throughout the years, and believes that further automation, robotics and digital solutions are key for food processors to optimize production, improve safety and meet customer‘s demand for high quality, safe and nutritious protein products.
Soft Robotics provides essential technology building blocks complementing Marel’s broad product portfolio that enable automation solutions for the food industry. Marel intends to integrate Soft Robotics’ technology in selected solutions for its core markets. The strategic partnership will initially focus on automating infeed of machines or styling product for final packaging with numerous opportunities to further expand in the future.