Shopify Acquires Warehouse Automation & Robotics Firm

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Shopify is procuring 6 River Systems, and a start-up concentrated on warehouse industrialization technology development for e-commerce and retail operations. The acquisition is designed to accelerate the growth of the Shopify Fulfilment Network, which began in June. The deal is valued at almost $450 million — 60 percent in cash and 40 percent in shares.

With 6 River Systems, Shopify combines cloud-based software and collaborative mobile robots named “Chuck,” capable of moving packages encompassing a warehouse, to the Shopify Fulfilment Network. The 6 River technologies are intended to help Shopify increase the speed and security of its warehouse operations by commissioning on-site associates with daily duties, including inventory replenishment, picking, classifying, and packing.

The deal also provides Shopify access to the robotics masters who helped develop Amazon’s robotics market when they were at Kiva Systems (before Amazon procured that company).

Shopify’s growth has increased manifolds in the past 12 months, with the e-Commerce platform’s stock plummeting a whopping 150 percent in that time frame. After transcending eBay’s market capitalization earlier this year (now up to $40 billion to approximately $34 billion), Shopify is expected to move eBay in terms of merchant sales capacity in the U.S. as well, as per a note from investment bank R.W. Baird. Shopify announced $362 million in Q2 revenue last month, up 48 percent from the year-ago period. The transaction is assumed to have no impact on Shopify’s revenue in 2019 but is expected to improve the company’s annual expenses by approximately $25 million.

The transaction is assumed to have no impact on Shopify’s earnings in 2019 but is expected to improve the company’s annual expenses by approximately $25 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019. Shopify calculated that 6 River Systems would have annual revenues of about $30 million in 2020.