Backed by Walmart, Massachusetts-based robotics startup Symbiotic is shaking up the world of supply chain automation. The company is already servicing more than 1,400 retailers in a quarter of U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, and following the recent announcement of its merger with Softbank Group’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Symbiotic is poised to get a lot bigger.
The blank-check deal culminated in a pro-forma equity value of $5.5 billion for Symbiotic. The merger was conducted by SVF Investment Corp 3 (SVF 3), an entity that raised $320 million in its own IPO earlier this year, and was supported by a $205 million private investment of public equity from investors including Walmart.
Softbank’s investment in a supply-chain-focused firm like Symbiotic is widely seen as a shrewd maneuver. With supply chains around the world disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and widespread labor shortages, Symbiotic promises a faster way to improve speed and accuracy in distribution centers around the world.
The merger is expected to be finalized within the first two quarters of 2021. The new entity created through the merger, Symbiotic Inc., will trade under the symbol SYM on the Nasdaq.