Gatik Raises $85 Million in Latest Funding to Scale its Fleet of Autonomous Box Trucks for Middle-Mile Delivery
Autonomous driving developer Gatik, a startup that is targeting the "middle mile" logistics market with its fleet of self-driving box trucks, announced a $85 million funding round on Tuesday. The funding was led by new investor Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), which is known for supporting high-growth companies.
Existing investors Innovation Endeavours, Wittington Ventures, FM Capital, Dynamo Ventures, Trucks VC, Intact Ventures and others also participated.
The latest funding brings the total amount raised by Gatik to $114.5 million. The latest funding will help Gatik to scale North America's first autonomous middle mile logistics network.
Gatlik was co-founded in 2017 by two brothers, Gautam Narang and Arjun Narang, along with Apeksha Kumavat. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, but also has an office in Toronto.
Gautam serves as CEO and Arjun is the company's CTO. The three co-founders have been working together in the field of robotics, AI and machine learning and spent over a decade developing the company's autonomous driving technology.
Unlike developers of autonomous Class-8 long-haul trucks or companies like Nuro that are working on compact delivery vehicles for last mile grocery and meal deliveries, Gatik is targeting "middle mile" business to business (B2B) cargo delivery, where goods are shipped from local distribution centers to brick and mortar retail locations.
The demand for middle mile delivery has increased rapidly due to the rise of e-commerce, which spiked during the pandemic of last year. Gatik claims its the only company in North America operating Class 3-6 Autonomous Box Trucks for B2B delivery with Fortune 500 customers. The company is generating revenue with every delivery order.
"The logistics industry is experiencing unprecedented disruption driven by the explosive growth of ecommerce, and demand for more efficient goods movement," said Chase Koch, President of Koch Disruptive Technologies. "Nowhere is this more pronounced than on the middle mile. Gatik's transformational autonomous technology and world-class team are defining the standard in B2B short-haul logistics by addressing the most prominent issues facing today's supply chain. We believe Gatik will be the first to commercialize autonomous technology at scale for the North American medium-duty trucking market."
Gatik has been working with retailer Walmart in Arkansas and Louisiana since 2019, delivering goods for the retailer in its autonomous trucks. The self-driving trucks operate 7 days a week, 12 hours a day on routes with fixed pick-up and drop-off locations to maximize safety and efficiency.
Gatik said it will use the funding to advance its commercial-grade autonomous technology, scale its fleet of Class 3-6 autonomous box trucks across new markets in North America, add new customers and expand its team.
"With our exclusive focus on structured autonomy, we have unlocked lower costs, shorter delivery times, and sustainable, reliable capacity for our customers today," said Gautam Narang. "Our long-term partnerships with the world's largest retailers, strategic relationships with OEMs and fleet servicing & maintenance partners have allowed us to address critical supply chain challenges and build an industry-defining business. With this financing, we are ideally positioned to commercialize our solution at scale."
Gatik also announced on Tuesday that it's expanding its operations in Texas. The company opened a new autonomous trucking facility in Fort Worth which will serve as a hub for Gatik's operations in the state.
Gatik said it deployed both 20-foot and 26-foot temperature-controlled autonomous box trucks to facilitate real-time delivery of goods in Texas.
"Dallas-Fort Worth is internationally recognized as one of the world's leading logistics centers in terms of innovation, sophisticated infrastructure and a highly-skilled workforce," said Narang. "Combined with a dense customer base, a progressive and well-structured regulatory environment, and an ideal climate; bringing the advantages of our Middle Mile solution to customers in the Texas ecosystem was a very natural next step for us."
Texas is emerging as one of the leading states for autonomous driving startups to deploy their vehicles. Other autonomous trucking startups operating in Texas, include TuSimple, Waymo, Aurora and Kodiak Robotics.
"Texas continues to thrive as a place of unlimited economic opportunity and we are proud to welcome a cutting-edge company like Gatik to Fort Worth," said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. "This facility will bring hundreds of jobs to the region and will further establish the Lone Star State as a leader in innovation.
Autonomous trucks will help the industry to cut costs and increase efficiency. The trucks can operate 24 hours per day without the mandatory breaks required for human drivers. The self-driving trucks also greatly increase safety and reduce fuel consumption for fleet operators.
"Gatik's expansion into Texas comes at a time when demand for autonomous Middle Mile delivery has surpassed even the most confident predictions," said CEO Narang. "Rising costs, unreliable service levels and an increasingly pronounced driver shortage within traditional logistics networks have spurred overwhelming demand for Gatik's autonomous technology."
Gatik is also one of over 50 companies granted an autonomous vehicle testing permit in its home state of California that allows it to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state. Others include Tesla, Waymo, Apple Inc. and Zoox.
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