iFollow, a start-up manufacturing collaborative autonomous robots 100% Made in France, announces that it has completed a €7.5 million round led by Supernova lnvest, alongside Socadif, and historical seed investors Axeleo Capital and NCI Waterstart, supported by BPI France.
Founded in March 2017 by Vincent Jacquemart (CEO) and Nicolas Menigoz (CTO), iFollow is revolutionizing logistics and industry by using autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to facilitate order picking and transport of heavy charges in the warehouse.
iFollow’s robots stand out in the market with their specific features: capacity to transport from 300 to 1000 kg, adaptability to any existing picking
(pallets, carts, etc.), compactness, mobility in cramped or refrigerated environments, etc. Thus, the level of performance of iFollow robots, protected by 5 international patents, results in an increase of 28 to 42.5% in operator productivity.
Acceleration of production resources and international conquest
While the global e-commerce market has been growing steadily for several decades, and the post-Covid era is reinforcing the trend towards digitalization and online shopping, the consumer’s main demand is delivery times shorter and shorter. This situation, combined with a « just-in-time » procurement policy in the B2B sector, forces companies to continuously adapt and make their supply chain more flexible. Intelligent robots are among the best solutions to support warehouse operations.
This round of financing will allow iFollow to expand its assembly line, currently based in Gentilly. The hardware director’s goal is to increase its production rate tenfold to 1,500 robots per year. With more than 100 robots already produced, iFollow aims to deliver 400 new AMRs in 2022.
Exporting these Made In France robots is the company’s second focus in 2022, particularly to England, where iFollow plans to launch a subsidiary, and to Japan. The objective of this English structure will be to consolidate the local customer base and then to develop the very promising American and Asian markets by relying on specialized integrators.
The iFollow team, which until now has been focused on R&D, now has about 30 employees. It will be gradually strengthened to reach nearly 80 employees within 18 months. New strategic divisions will be created: deployment, maintenance, logistics and marketing.
Nicolas Menigoz, iFollow’s CEO, emphasizes the commitment of his entire team to achieving this unparalleled technical level. « Our team has been able to develop a unique technology based on industrial know-how that has been forged through the evolution of our machines and usage tests. This new round of financing marks a major milestone for the company. Our objective for 2022 is to scale up the existing installations at several major French customers in the industrial and logistics fields. Our ambition is to duplicate these well-established robotization models in order to quickly become a world leader in this significant market (€10 billion in 2023). »
Congrats to Vincent and Nicolas and welcome aboard to our new friends from Supernova Invest and Socadif!
By Brice Lapouble