Outrider raises US$73m Series C financing to increase adoption of autonomous distribution yard operations

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In a Series C financing round led by FM Capital, new investors in the developer of autonomous yard operations technologies include a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and NVentures, Nvidia’s venture capital arm.

“Outrider has consistently delivered breakthrough technology to automate one of the most inefficient links in the supply chain – the distribution yard,” said Andrew Smith, CEO and founder of Outrider. “Our customers will move massive quantities of freight more efficiently, safely and sustainably using Outrider’s technology. We are thrilled to have an outstanding network of investors who share our vision to set a new standard for the global logistics industry.”

With an estimated 20 billion tons of freight being moved by trucks each year, automated yard operations can increase the time freight spends being transported, and tackle issues such as labor shortages and employee safety.

Outrider will use the latest round of funding to expand its autonomy and safety technology portfolio and scale its yard automation solution with large companies in the package shipping, retail, e-commerce, consumer packaged goods, grocery, manufacturing and intermodal sectors.

“Outrider has addressed all the pieces – technology, safety, operations and support – needed to deploy a reliable, industrial-grade system at scale,” said Mark Norman, managing partner at FM Capital. “The company is a case study in bringing advanced robotics and autonomy technology to market. Outrider has a world-class team to scale their solution and FM Capital is excited to invest and join the company’s board of directors.”

The Outrider system can autonomously move semi-trailers within large distribution hubs using the company’s autonomous yard truck. Constantly adapting to changes within the yard, the autonomous vehicle can hitch and unhitch from trailers, and robotically connect and disconnect trailer brake lines. Outrider’s trucks can also back up semi-trailers accurately and interact safely with loading docks, all while keeping track of trailer locations in the confines of the distribution facility.

“Our confidence in Outrider is based on its technical and commercial leadership in yard automation for fully autonomous vehicles to integrate fluidly into real-world customer operations,” said the head of NVentures, Mohamed Siddeek. “The fundamental processing pipeline for autonomous vehicles can be applied to all kinds of autonomous and robotics systems, a key area of focus for Nvidia.”

Other new investors include B37 Ventures; Lineage Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Lineage Logistics; Presidio Ventures, the venture capital arm of Sumitomo Corporation; and ROBO Global Ventures. Furthermore, Henrik Christensen, a founding member of ROBO Global’s advisory board and Qualcomm chair of robotics at UC San Diego in California, has joined Outrider as a board advisor.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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