Symbotic is a product movement technology platform, which caters to grocers and wholesalers, including Walmart, Albertsons, and C&S Wholesale Grocers


Symbotic to merge with SVF Investment in $5.5bn deal. (Credit: icondigital from Pixabay)

Symbotic, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technology platform for the supply chain, has agreed to merge with SVF Investment Corp. 3 (SVFC) to become a publicly-traded company with a pro-forma equity value of about $5.5bn.

SVFC is a special purpose acquisition firm sponsored by an affiliate of SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA).

Symbotic is a product movement technology platform, which caters to grocers and wholesalers, including Walmart, Albertsons, and C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Based in Massachusetts, US, the company already operates systems that provide services to more than 1,400 stores in 16 states and eight Canadian provinces. It is claimed to have the industry’s largest contracted order backlog of more than $5bn.

Symbotic has redeveloped the traditional warehouse, which is powered by a fleet of AI-enabled autonomous robots, to create a first-of-its-kind physical structure that can power the entire supply chain technology platform of a customer.

The robots, known as Symbots, are claimed to move products at speeds up to 25mph with 99.9999% accuracy to and from random access storage structures.

Symbotic chairman and CEO Rick Cohen said: “When we founded Symbotic, we set out to develop technology to make the supply chain work better for everyone. We have successfully invented and developed a truly disruptive solution that reimagines the traditional warehouse from the ground up.

“Not only that, but we have also proven its power in partnership with some of the world’s biggest retailers.

“SoftBank has tremendous experience investing in leading-edge artificial intelligence and robotics innovators, and our partnership with them will provide us with new insights, relationships and capital that will help us realize our full potential.”

The deal is expected to provide Symbotic with $725min gross proceeds, including $200m from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and $205m in a Common Equity PIPE from a select group of institutional investors, including Walmart.

SVFC chairman and CEO and SBIA managing partner Yanni Pipilis said: “We are highly impressed by how Rick and the team have built Symbotic into the remarkable, growing business and industry leader it is today.

“We believe Symbotic has built an exceptional platform on which to scale, building on the company’s strong revenue, balance sheet and profitability to thrive as Rick and the team continue to reimagine global supply chains.”

Additionally, Symbotic expects to secure an additional $174m in cash from Walmart by the end of December. The amount will be used for general corporate purposes as a result of Walmart gross exercising warrants it holds in the company.

The equity holders of Symbotic are expected to own 88% of the combined entity. New investors will own 12%, with SPAC public shareholders owning 6%, the SVFC sponsor and its affiliates owning 5% and other PIPE investors owning 1%.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022. Upon closing of the deal, the combined entity will operate under ‘Symbotic Inc.’