Ware, a technology startup deploying autonomous drones for warehouse inventory counting, has closed $2.5 million in seed-round funding, led by UP Partners, with participation from Bloomberg Beta, 2048 Ventures, Tom McInerney—angel investor in companies like Uber—and drone industry expert Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio. The funding will be used for building out the team to further Ware’s artificial intelligence capabilities and support customers as they deploy their technology.
As an enterprise-grade supply chain optimization platform, Ware operates at the nexus of robotics and machine learning. Its flagship product enables organizations to perform inventory tracking and warehouse tasks more efficiently with automation. Specifically, Ware combines drones’ ability to quickly access and capture data of an entire facility, then apply proprietary algorithmic data processing to deliver accurate reports, ultimately transforming the way warehouses and distribution centers count and manage their inventory. This is especially important as increased consumer e-commerce spending due to COVID-19 has created additional stresses for warehouses.
“Understanding the true state of inventory in today’s massive warehouses requires a significant amount of manual labor and time-consuming routines,” notes Ware’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Smith. “Our investors understand how Ware is meeting this challenge. Their support is especially gratifying amidst the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the stress it has exerted on global supply chains.”
Automating warehouse cycle counts with Ware is a 3-step process:
- Self-flying drones soar throughout the warehouse, collecting images of pallet locations, data from barcodes, and other inventory information.
- With their pre-programmed flight pattern completed, the drones return to their “Nests” inside the warehouse, where they recharge and transmit their cargo of data to Ware’s cloud.
- Ware’s processing engine analyzes the drone imagery, distills the data, and delivers it into an easy-to-use format. Interactive reports in Ware’s cloud software are provided to inventory control teams to make decisions with and take action on.
The software’s dashboard displays an AI-assisted visual audit log of the warehouse’s entire inventory. Managers can extrapolate accurate inventory quantities for each pallet by viewing the presented data and be alerted to issues that Ware’s processing engine finds and bubbles up to the top. As Ware collects more information from a range of warehouses, it will achieve a critical mass of third-party data it can use to enrich customer’s operations and customize workflow, automate inventory reorder triggers, precisely assign cost centers, and drive more intelligent supply chain processes.
“We are thrilled to be partnered with Ian, Joe, and the entire Ware team. Ware’s innovations are not only streamlining a very time-consuming and error-prone part of every business that handles goods, they’re also answering the call to improve efficiency and decrease cost in the increasingly dynamic and higher throughput supply chain,” said Ben Marcus, UP Partners co-founder and managing partner.