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Wayve founder backs £600K funding of female-led robotics startup building affordable warehouse robots

Currently, less than 10% of warehouses are able to adopt robotic automation due to the issues of high cost, high complexity and long lead times. PHINXT’s cloud-based platform helps small to medium-sized warehouses compete with larger logistics companies by increasing their automation and adoption of robotics.

Now the London-based startup has raised over £600K in a pre-seed round. The investment came from top VCs and angels, including the exited founder of autonomous systems startup Wayve, Amar Shah through his new deep tech VC Dhyan Ventures.

Other investors included Fuel Ventures, Atlas Ventures, APX, Prequel Ventures, and angels from Venture Together and Alma Angels.

The funds will be used by PHINXT Robotics to field test their first product and run it successfully in a first group of customers’ warehouses.

Cofounder and CEO, Yanwen Chen, PhD, said, “Robotics automation has become a must for businesses that want to stay competitive in the logistics and manufacturing industries, however, it is still something that only large companies are able to afford. We are changing that and, thanks to our tech, we plan to bring the advantages of robotics automation to many SMEs across Europe in the next couple of years.”

Tom Hibbard, Principal at Fuel Ventures, said, “PHINXT is a deep tech company that also has short-term commercial potential. They are one of the rare startups that has deeply technical founders who are extremely focussed on their customers and their needs. We’re really pleased to be backing this team.”

Amar Shah, the founding partner at Dhyan Ventures, said, “To benefit from automation in warehouses, robots need sophisticated real-time coordination. PHINXT delivers exactly that without the need of a large engineering or research team, helping the smaller players stay competitive amongst giant organisations. As a founder in the robotics space, I can see the vast potential for their technology and am excited to join them on their journey to scale.”

Brainchild of experienced founders

PHINXT Robotics was founded in 2022 by Yanwen Chen and Quirino Zagarese, experts in autonomous systems. Yanwen Chen has two PhDs in Computer Science focused on logic models for cyber-physical systems and large-scale robotics synchronisation. Quirino Zagarese has a Ph.D. in Software Engineering with a focus on service computing for ultra large-scale systems.

The London startup enables warehouses of any size to deploy autonomous robots as needed, with no expertise required. PHINXT has already patented its decentralised edge computing technology, which enables ultra-simplified deployments that require minimal IT infrastructure costs. Due to its patented decentralised edge computing technology, PHINXT allows for ultra-simplified deployments that require minimal IT infrastructure while ensuring unprecedented levels of reliability.

As a result, small and medium-sized warehouses will have easier access to robotics and be able to compete with the larger logistics companies as well as scale up or down robot numbers as necessary. In addition, PHINXT can provide interoperability between any type of robot to build fully autonomous ecosystems.

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