Shopify is acquiring Waltham, Massachussetts-based 6 River Systems, which offers collaborative warehouse fulfillment solutions, for $450 million USD.
Founded in 2015, 6 River Systems offers cloud-based software and mobile robots called Chuck, which assist humans working in fulfillment centres. Shopify said that adding 6 River Systems to the Shopify Fulfillment Network will increase the speed and reliability of warehouse operations, including inventory replenishment, picking, sorting, and packing.
“Shopify is taking on fulfillment the same way we’ve approached other commerce challenges, by bringing together the best technology to help everyone compete.”
– Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify
6 River Systems operates in over 20 facilities in the US, Canada, and Europe, fulfilling millions of units each week for companies including Lockheed Martin, CSAT Solutions, ACT Fulfillment, DHL, XPO Logistics, and Office Depot. 6 River Systems said following the aquistion it will continue to build and sell its solution for warehouses.
“By joining Shopify, we’re changing the game of fulfillment,” said Jerome Dubois, co-CEO and co-founder of 6 River Systems. “Together, we will help thousands of businesses improve their fulfillment operations, with an easy-to-learn solution that can more than double productivity and improve accuracy.”
The acquisition is a core part of Shopify’s burgeoning fulfillment strategy. In June, the company announced a Shopify Fulfillment Network to give US-based merchants a offering of various fulfillment centres. Scott Galloway, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said, after the network was announced, that the move makes the Ottawa-based ecommerce giant an unexpected threat to Amazon.
“Shopify doesn’t operate its own marketplace, so it has no private label brands, and really is a platform as opposed to a competitor,” Galloway said. “Shopify has an opportunity to be the protein to Amazon’s virus and serve as a true partner to e-commerce firms.”
Shopify noted that the acquisition adds a team with “decades” of experience in fulfillment software and robotics, including leaders from Kiva Systems—now Amazon Robotics.
“Shopify is taking on fulfillment the same way we’ve approached other commerce challenges, by bringing together the best technology to help everyone compete,” said Tobi Lütke, CEO of Shopify. “With 6 River Systems, we will bring technology and operational efficiencies to companies of all sizes around the world.”