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Conference & Trade Show Report: Groceryshop 2022

Conference & Trade Show Report: Groceryshop 2022

Trade show report: Groceryshop, Las Vegas, US, Sep 19-22, 2022 Groceryshop is as it sounds, a trade show & conference specifically for the grocery & CPG/FMCG industry. The event was spun out from Hyve's popular Shoptalk events about 4-5 years ago. Organisers acknowledged the 2022 event was the largest Groceryshop to date and we concur the event was busy. Las Vegas is a super location (albeit a bit expensive) for events with hotels and conference venue in the same building complex. It was STIQs first visit to the city and we were pleasantly surprised to find that everything worked very well... similarly to German trade shows. Check in is...

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Amazon acquire Cloostermans

Amazon acquire Cloostermans

Amazon just announced they acquired Cloostermans, a Belgian mechanial innovation outfit, in a recent blog post (AboutAmazon - thanks to TechCrunch for highlighting this @ source). Cloostermans will apparently be integrated in Amazon Robotics and their European innovations team.  What is Cloostermans? D.Cloostermans-Huwaert (aka "Clostermans"), founded in 1884, is a Belgian mechanical/mechatronics consulting firm building bespoke machinery for a variety of customers. The company had 138 staff according to their LinkedIn page in Sep 2022. This is not exactly the M&A profile for Amazon's many startup acquisitions in the automation & robotics sector. Image from Cloostermans website  It is highly likely that Cloostermans developed...

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Trade Show Report: IMHX 2022

Trade Show Report: IMHX 2022

Trade show report: IMHX, Birmingham, UK, Sep 6-8, 2022 IMHX is not an annual trade show and has been held once every three years. STIQ has heard this changed to every two years recently. The last IMHX we visited was held in 2019. It should be noted that many robotics and warehouse automation trade shows in 2022 have been hugely popular affairs with record exhibitor and visitor numbers, such as Modex (US) and LogiMat (Germany). These shows were held in 1H22 which may have shielded these shows from the main impact of utility prices and talks of recession. The 2022 IMHX show was hosted...

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SoftBank and Robotics Investments

SoftBank and Robotics Investments

SoftBank recently reported a massive $23bn quarterly loss in 1Q22 (source: FT.com) and announced more cautious investment criteria and smaller equity stakes in the future.  What might this mean for the robotics companies remaining in SoftBank's portfolio? Will there be a push to exit companies earlier, not invest in additional rounds, more pressure on management (robot companies) to commercialise/grow sales, etc?  In STIQs experience, SoftBank typically invests at later stages and attempt to be a kind of flywheel for increasing valuations, or valuation expectations. Some of SoftBank's portfolio companies have started working with other SoftBank portfolio companies or subsidiaries (this is relatively common among PE firms). It...

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Amazon to acquire iRobot for $1.7bn

Amazon to acquire iRobot for $1.7bn

Amazon recently announced they would acquire iRobot, the company behind the consumer robot vacuum cleaner for $1.7bn.  Why did Amazon acquire iRobot? Whilst Amazon already have one of the largest robot workforces globally in its warehouses, the iRobot acquisition is unrelated to this part of Amazon.  STIQs view is that Amazon has a view of how future consumer dwellings/homes will be reliant on smart devices connected to a software ecosystem, such as Amazon's Alexa assistant. Amazon internal initiatives high failure rate? Amazon has already attempted to develop applications internally, such as Dash Buttons (discontinued, source), Astro (source), etc. but most of these appear to have failed....

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