Ocado Group announces agreement to acquire 6 River Systems

Collaborative mobile robot provider had been part of Shopify since 2019.

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Ocado Group, a U.K.-based technology company, announced yesterday that has reached an agreement with Shopify to acquire 6 River Systems.

6 River Systems is a collaborative autonomous mobile robot (AMR) fulfilment solutions provider to the logistics and non-grocery retail sectors, based in Massachusetts, USA. It was founded in 2015 and developed an Autonomous Mobile Robot product called ‘Chuck’ that provides automated assistance to pickers in a warehouse, working collaboratively with human operators. Shopify acquired 6 River in October of 2019.

"We are delighted to welcome new colleagues to the Ocado family," commented James Matthews, CEO of Ocado Technology. "6 River Systems brings exciting new IP and possibilities to the wider Ocado technology estate, as well as valuable commercial and R&D expertise in non-grocery retail segments.

“Chuck robots are currently deployed in over 100 warehouses worldwide, with more than 70 customers," Matthews continued. "We're looking forward to supporting 6 River Systems to build on these and new relationships in the years to come."

The financial terms of the deal were not part of the initial announcement from Ocado Group, which provides online grocery fulfillment solutions, and holds a 50% share of Ocado Retail Ltd in the UK in a Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer. According to Ocado Group, it has spent two decades innovating for grocery online, investing in a wide technology estate that includes robotics, AI & machine learning, simulation, forecasting, and edge intelligence.

In a statement on Shopify's website, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke, explained Shopify was reducing its workforce by 20% and selling its logistics unit as it refocuses its mission. His statement didn't mention the 6 River sale specifically, but it did announce that Flexport will buy Shopify Logistics, becoming the preferred logistics partner for Shopify.

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Mergers & Acquisitions
6 River Systems
Autonomous Mobile Robots
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