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Gather AI, a provider of AI-powered autonomous inventory management solutions for warehouses using commodity hardware, announced that it is acquiring the business of Ware, another large player in the market. With this acquisition, Gather AI has doubled its staff to become a market leader in the competitive drone-based warehouse inventory space with 25 customers.
The other two remaining competitors in this market are Swiss-based Verity, the first company to enter the market in 2014, and US-based Corvus Robotics. Both of these companies have built custom drones for gathering data in the warehouse. Verity is the largest of the four (now three) drone-based inventory management companies.
“Understanding inventory levels is critical for creating accurate forecasts and managing in this environment. We offer real-time inventory visibility to our customers through our AI software which turns commodity drones into autonomous data-gathering machines,” Gather AI CEO Sankalp Arora said. “Acquiring Ware’s business accelerates our growth further, bringing our proven solution to more warehouses, and enabling our customers to leverage data insights from across our growing network.”
Gather AI is transforming warehouse operations. With its solution, AI software enables drones to fly autonomously through warehouses to photograph inventory stored in pallet locations. AI reads bar codes, text, and other information in the images and automatically compares it with what’s in the warehouse management system (WMS). The warehouse manager can view inventory data in real-time from a web dashboard and easily view their warehouse.
Gather AI has seen an 8x revenue growth in the last year. Customers have seen a tremendous benefit from the solution including a reduction in inventory counting staff from six to one, finding $1 million in lost inventory, reducing full facility scans from 90 days to 2.5 days, and boosting revenue with innovation and differentiation. Results like these helped Gather AI raise a $10 million Series A last year. (see timeline below)
During that same time period, Ware struggled and had a major layoff in February 2023. CEO Ian Smith left in March 2023 and the company was a no-show at the 2023 ProMat event, which raised concern from industry watchers. Hank Skorny from UP Partners, one of Ware’s investors, came on board as CEO in April, likely in an effort to stabilize the company and sell the assets. The end result is this acquisition deal with Gather AI. A source from the company declined to comment on this.
Ware and Gather AI were the only companies in the world that developed AI software to perform autonomous inventory management using off-the-shelf drones. “We share Gather AI’s philosophy that robots are becoming a commodity, and our value is in the data we provide to our customers,” said Ware CEO Hank Skorny. “We wanted to join forces with the other leader to quickly scale the market opportunity. Gather AI stood out as the best match because of their customer centricity, technology maturity, and our shared vision.”
Ware customers will be integrated into the Gather AI platform in the coming weeks with the support of the combined Ware and Gather AI teams. The Gather software solution is drone agnostic and can work with any off-the-shelf drone. The company shared that Ware customers will be migrated to DJI-based drones in the short term, but that the company is continuing to qualify other drone manufacturers to work with the Gather solution.
“We recognized the need for an autonomous inventory management solution to optimize inventory accuracy and minimize labor expenditure,” expressed Jeff Keene, DPI Specialty Foods COO, and former Ware client. “After assessing the proven technology and witnessing the tangible benefits experienced by Gather AI customers, we enthusiastically agreed to implement their solution in three of our warehouses. We are excited to initiate the deployment and leverage the advantages it offers.”
[Updated June 29]