Online retailer to acquire Kiva Systems for $775 mn

Online retailer is buying Kiva Systems, a manufacturer of robots used in warehouses, for $775 million in cash - its biggest acquisition since 2009 - in a bid to boost its order handling capacity.

With a growing number of retailers using Amazon's fulfillment services to ship products to buyers, the online retailer is finding it difficult to cope with rising demand despite emplying 56,000 people.

In the last quarter almost 36 per cent of Amazon's total sales came from those of products of third-party retailers, who use its warehousing and shipping facilities.

Founded in 2003 by its CEO, Mick Mountz, North Reading, Massachusetts-based Kiva is a leading innovator of material handling technology and builds robots to help retailers manage their inventory and fulfill orders. Kiva services many large retailers, like Gap, Staples, Walgreens and Saks.

Kiva has developed third generation robots that can be re configured to go around warehouse floors and pick up items from shelves to help fulfill customer orders.

The company is owned by private equity investors that Bain Capital Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bain Capital, and Meakem Becker Venture Capital.