Ocado plans £575m fund raise to boost tech business

Ocado Group is planning to raise £575 million from investors to help fund innovation at a faster pace and further invest in new technology.

The retail tech giant also wants to “make the most” of growing online grocery demand by ramping up capacity.

The British company says that there is an “urgency” to bring online grocery solutions to market, explaining that in the past 12-months it has accelerated the roll out of its retail technology platform OSP globally.

OSP is currently being used by 11 companies around the world, including Auchan Retail Poland, which signed an agreement with Ocado to develop its online business in March.

Ocado said that its technology arm has a “strong committed pipeline” of 58 Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFC) which could generate more than £20 billion in partner sales in the medium term.

In January, Ocado group unveiled new technology that will underpin the company’s existing Ocado Smart Platform (OSP), including what the company describes as the “world’s lightest and most efficient grocery fulfilment bot” and the first-ever virtual distribution centre (DC).

The new 600 Series bot is built using additive manufacturing, with over half of its parts 3D printed. Ocado said that the robot is “ultra-energy efficient” and cheaper to build and operate than its predecessor.

The company said it will continue to invest in new technology to “remain ahead of the industry”.

In addition to its capital raise, Ocado also announced a new £300 million revolving credit facility, which has been provided by a syndicate of international banks.

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