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RIL arm to invest ₹300 cr in robotics co - Business2Business

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, the retail unit of Reliance Industries Ltd., is likely to acquire a minority stake in warehouse robotics company Addverb Technologies Pvt. Ltd for around Rs 300 crore, two people familiar with the matter said.

If the deal goes through, Addverb Technologies will be valued at ₹1,590-1,660 crore, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity.

Email inquiries sent to Reliance Retail and Addverb Technologies remained unanswered till press time.

Addverb Technologies was founded in 2016 by former Asian Paints CEOs Satish Shukla, Sangeet Kumar, Prateek Jain, Bir Singh, Amit Kumar, and Neeraj Sharma. The company claims its products help companies improve the use of space in warehouses and factories through the use of robotics and warehouse automation. It is aimed at industries such as e-commerce, healthcare, aviation, retail, supermarkets, fashion, third-party logistics, pharmaceuticals, and auto parts.

Addverb Technologies, which includes Amazon, Flipkart, ITC and Coca-Cola among its clients, raised more than $10 million from Asian Paints co-promoter Jalaj Ashwin Dani in two tranches in 2017 and 2019, according to VCCEdge, the data intelligence platform of VCCircle.

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In June, the Moneycontrol website reported that the company had started talks with institutional investors to raise between $80 million and $120 million. Addverb Technologies' net sales increased to ₹111.2 crore in the year ending March 2020 from ₹64.9 crore in the previous year.

Through its retail unit, Reliance has made several acquisitions this year. Last month, the lingerie retailer under the "Amante" brand bought MAS Brands, a unit of Sri Lanka-based MAS Holdings, for an undisclosed amount. Reliance Retail acquired a 52% stake in India's oldest fashion house, Ritu Kumar, in October. It also picked up a significant stake in the couture brand Manish Malhotra in the same month. In July, local search engine platform Just Dial Ltd bought for Rs 5,713 crore via preferential share allocation and open offer.

Reliance Retail raised nearly $ 6.4 billion in external funding last year from companies such as US-based private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, and private equity firm KKR & Co. Abu Dhabi Government Fund, Mubadala Investment Company and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

To be sure, a handful of startups in the robotics have raised funding in the recent past. Earlier this month, Pune-based robotics technology company Unbox Robotics raised $ 7 million in its Series A funding round led by 3one4 Capital. Earlier this month, market-bound logistics company Delhivery acquired California-based Transition Robotics Inc.

Also Read: Beat the market in 2022 with focused investment in three sectors

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