Czech online grocer Rohlik to invest 400 million euros in automation

·1 min read

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech online grocery delivery startup Rohlik Group said on Thursday it will invest 400 million euros ($469.32 million) in warehouse automation by the end of 2025 to boost efficiency and capacity.

The company, seeking to become Europe's biggest online grocery delivery service, said in a statement it would invest 45 million euros in an initial phase, with further investments coming 2022-2025.

Rohlik is installing a storage-bin system with integrated robot retrieval and order-picking work stations. It will launch at its German brand in Munich and raise picking productivity threefold, the company said. That will be followed by a roll-out in existing and new European markets.

Rohlik has said that it will expand to other German cities including Frankfurt this year followed by Hamburg, Cologne and others in 2022.

The investment comes as Rohlik pushes into new markets after raising funds in financing rounds this year that helped it expand into Germany in August. It previously expanded into Austria and Hungary.

In July, it raised 100 million euros from investors at a valuation of 1 billion euros after getting financing of 190 million euros in an earlier round.

Founded in 2014 by 38-year-old Czech internet entrepreneur Tomas Cupr, Rohlik posted turnover of over 300 million euros in 2020, which was also helped by the shift to online commerce amid the coronavirus pandemic.

($1 = 0.8523 euros)

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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