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Ocado Group acquires robotics start-up Myrmex Inc.

May 23rd, 2022, Hatfield, UK and Athens, Greece

Ocado Group is today announcing the proposed acquisition of materials handling robotics start-up Myrmex Inc for consideration of approximately €10.2 million to accelerate the development of intelligent asset handling systems for the Ocado Smart Platform. The two companies have agreed the terms of the transaction and expect to complete the acquisition by June 6th, 2022. 

Ocado Group previously acquired a minority stake in Myrmex Inc in October 2020 and appointed them to design and develop a proprietary solution that automates the loading of totes containing customer orders onto frames ready for dispatch. The ‘Automated Frameload’ solution (AFL) was unveiled at Ocado Re:Imagined in January 2022 as one of the seven critical innovations, and will be going live in Ocado Group CFCs later this year. 

The acquisition of Myrmex will enable faster rollout of AFL across Ocado Group’s global CFC footprint, as well as open up new opportunities for the development of bespoke automation solutions for the Ocado Smart Platform. Myrmex has developed products and solutions applicable to a variety of processes in Ocado’s CFCs, but its technology also has potential applications for in-store locations, specifically for automating the grocery order pickup process. 

A team of over 30 people from Myrmex with deep domain expertise in automation hardware and software will join Ocado Technology’s 2,500 strong team of technologists. 

James Gralton, Chief Engineering Officer at Ocado Technology said: 

“We are excited to welcome Myrmex to Ocado Group. We’ve been impressed with Myrmex’s capabilities and their ability to design, develop and bring to market bespoke solutions. The collaboration between Ocado Group and Myrmex led to the launch of Automated Frameload in a little over a year. This acquisition is another important step on our automation journey

and provides an opportunity to further grow and expand our engineering presence in Southern Europe as we continue to invest in developing Myrmex’s technologies for the Ocado Smart Platform.” 

George Katiniotis, CEO at Myrmex said: 

“We are thrilled to be joining Ocado Group. Over the last 20 months, we’ve been impressed with Ocado Group’s disruptive products, pioneering technology, visionary leadership and talented people. I am proud to see our intellectual property and brilliant engineering team recognised by the global leader in online grocery and am excited about the journey ahead of us.” 

About Ocado Group 

Ocado Group is a UK based technology company admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker OCDO). It provides end-to-end online grocery fulfilment solutions to some of the world’s largest grocery retailers and holds a 50% share of Ocado Retail Ltd in the UK in a Joint Venture with Marks & Spencer. Ocado Group has spent two decades innovating for grocery online, investing in a wide technology estate that includes robotics, AI & machine learning, simulation, forecasting, and edge intelligence. 

About Myrmex Inc. 

Myrmex Inc. was established in 2015 in the USA. Its R&D is based in Athens, Greece. Myrmex firmly believes that the combined use of intelligent robotics coupled to industry standard assets, such as roll racks, will enable the online retailers and grocers to offer excellent customer experience at higher margins than traditional bricks-and-mortar sales channels. Its multi-patented, state-of-the-art hardware and software come at a perfect time, as social distancing measures drive the need for online retailers to create new sales channels, darkstores, and click & collect/pick-up points, and facilitate the last-mile.

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