The transaction is expected to facilitate a quicker rollout of Ocado’s Automated Frameload solution across its global CFC footprint
Ocado Group, a UK-based technology company, has agreed to take full ownership of Myrmex, a materials handling robotics start-up, in a deal worth around €10.2m.
In 2020, Ocado had taken a minority stake in Myrmex for an undisclosed price.
At that time, the former appointed the robotics start-up to design and build a proprietary solution for automating the loading of totes containing customer orders onto frames, which are ready for dispatch.
Founded in 2015 in the US, Myrmex has its research and development based in Athens, Greece.
Myrmex CEO George Katiniotis said: “Over the last 20 months, we’ve been impressed with Ocado Group’s disruptive products, pioneering technology, visionary leadership and talented people.
“I am proud to see our intellectual property and brilliant engineering team recognised by the global leader in online grocery and am excited about the journey ahead of us.”
Ocado said that the latest transaction will help it speed up the development of intelligent asset handling systems for its Ocado Smart Platform designed for online grocery businesses.
The company said that the acquisition of Myrmex will facilitate a quicker rollout of its Automated Frameload solution (AFL) across its global customer fulfilment centre (CFC) footprint. Besides, the deal is expected to pave the way for new opportunities for developing bespoke automation solutions for the Ocado Smart Platform.
Myrmex’ products and solutions are said to be applicable to a range of processes in Ocado’s CFCs. The former’s technology can also be potentially deployed for in-store locations, particularly for automation of the grocery order pickup process, said Ocado.
Ocado Technology chief engineering officer James Gralton said: “The collaboration between Ocado Group and Myrmex led to the launch of Automated Frameload in a little over a year.
“This acquisition is another important step on our automation journey and provides an opportunity to further grow and expand our engineering presence in Southern Europe as we continue to invest in developing Myrmex’s technologies for the Ocado Smart Platform.”
The deal is expected to close during the first week of June 2022.