Becoming an economic engine for e-commerce is a lofty ambition for a startup and is the story of Calgary’s game-changing 3D robotics supply chain company, Attabotics.
Inspired by the efficiency and structure of ant colonies, Attabotics co-founder and CEO Scott Gravelle set out to reinvent the supply chain with support from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF).
In December 2018, Attabotics was approved for up to $4.5 million from OCIF to support the scale up of its manufacturing facilities in northeast Calgary and the creation of 150 full-time jobs.
“Attabotics is an economic engine for e-commerce operations, and we are proud the systems and technology we are exporting worldwide are developed in Calgary,” said Gravelle.
Attabotics has been integrated into fulfillment centres across Canada and the United States with customers in retail and B2B. Its patented system handles everything from luxury goods and food and beverage to medical supplies and more.
“Attabotics’ success is a prime example of Calgary reaping the benefits of timely investment from OCIF that has paid off many times over,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development and Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.
"The foresight of Calgary City Council to create a Fund to accelerate our city’s economic growth and diversification is increasingly evident. Supporting local entrepreneurs in diversifying our economy and producing systems and technology the world needs is what the Fund was created to do.”
Since OCIF’s investment, Attabotics has attracted significant institutional investment including a $25 million USD Series B funding, a $50 million USD Series C funding and $34M CAD from Strategic Innovation Fund and continues to expand.
Attabotics unveiled one of the largest fundraising rounds in Alberta’s recent history. The company raised $71.7 million USD in its most recent Series C-1 fundraising round.
“When you want to build something that disrupts an industry, it’s a path that takes lots of support,” Gravelle said in an interview with the Calgary Herald.
The latest fundraising round increases Attabotics’ total funding to date to $165 USD million since 2019.
The accolades and awards have also piled up for Attabotics. Its patented automated storage and retrieval system utilizes both horizontal and vertical space to reduce warehouse needs by 85 per cent.
In 2019, Attabotics received a special mention on Time magazine’s Best Inventions list. The following year, it was named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list billed as “Amazon’s ant-sized competition” and ranked No. 1 on Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Logistics Companies of 2020.
This year, Attabotics was named a winner at the 2022 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group.
Attabotics has two production lines at its facility in the YYC Global Logistics Park at Calgary International Airport, which is the location of its corporate headquarters, research campus and primary manufacturing facility.
The company sees value in strategic partnerships and recently announced a partnership with Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and AltaML, another OCIF beneficiary and leading Canadian applied artificial intelligence and machine learning company, to further optimize efficiency and productivity of its supply chain infrastructure.
For more information on working in Calgary’s tech innovation ecosystem, visit Live Tech, Love Life. Visit the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund page for more information on the City’s investments to drive innovation and spur transformative economic development in Calgary.