Ash Sharma, Research Director at Interact Analysis, has written an assessment of what the acquisition of mobile robot company 6 River Systems by Shopify for $450m means for the wider mobile robots and ecommerce markets.

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Ash Sharma, research director of market research firm Interact Analysis, says:

  • “We estimate 6 River Systems generated less than $10m in revenue in 2018 making the size of this acquisition even more pertinent.”
  • “Shopify, which until recently has been mainly an online ecommerce platform provider, announced in June that it would be offering a US-wide fulfilment network.”
  • “Whilst only having a limited number of customers and revenues to date, 6 River Systems is poised for rapid growth with uptake of its person-to-goods robots accelerating. We expect its installed base of robots to grow from ~200 at the end of 2018 to more than 1,000 this year.”
  • “The acquisition of 6 River Systems may surprise some – particularly given the early stage the company was at. However, we saw a similar picture with Canvas Technology being acquired earlier this year by Amazon when it had barely been commercially shipping a product. What this highlights is that the supplier landscape for logistics robots will continue to consolidate (and also attract investment) due the vast number of vendors active, the massive (and long-term) growth the industry is enjoying, and the rapid pace at which companies now need to act due to the speed of change driven by ecommerce and giants such as Amazon disrupting their industries.”