17th of October 2023
+++ Significant investment strengthens idealworks’ competitive position to become the powerhouse of industrial automation +++
Munich. Munich-based technology company Agile Robots AG is joining idealworks, a subsidiary of the BMW Group founded at the end of 2020, as a strategic investor. As a deep tech company, idealworks is significantly promoting industrial automation in production and logistics by developing a robotics ecosystem. The idealworks portfolio consists of the intelligent automation platform AnyFleet, the autonomous mobile robot (AMR) iw.hub and the mobile robotics operating system iw.os. Agile Robots AG, a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), produces robotic-based solutions for the automotive and consumer electronic industries.
Partnership with great synergy potential
With Agile Robots AG, the BMW Group gains a strong strategic partner for idealworks. The investment made within a Series A financing round confirms the trust of both shareholders and enables idealworks to expand its product portfolio. In addition to continuing existing collaborations with leading technology companies such as NVIDIA Corporation, Microsoft Corporation and ADLINK Technology Inc., the investment enables the joint development of new solutions and technologies as well as access to further branches and markets.
As future strategic partners, idealworks and Agile Robots AG complement each other both in their industry expertise and in their range of solutions:
“Since 2020, over 600 iw.hubs have already been successfully implemented in the BMW Group’s intralogistics work processes. A proof point for the digitalization and technological development within the BMW iFactory. Together with Agile Robots AG, idealworks will further expand its robotics ecosystem to promote new and innovative solutions in the field of industrial automation — both in the software and hardware sectors. The cooperation also accelerates the internationalization of the business segment. We are delighted with this partnership,” says Dr. Michael Nikolaides, Head of Production Network and Logistics at the BMW Group.
Dr. Zhaopeng Chen, CEO of Agile Robots AG, adds: “In addition to our common origin in Munich, the intelligent combination of software and hardware provides the basis for serving our customers internationally with the right automation solution. We will combine German innovation and engineering expertise with the speed, global reach, and entrepreneurial vision that both companies have already demonstrated in the past.”
“With this Series A financing round, we are strengthening our position within the realm of industrial automation together with Agile Robots AG as our second strong investor. Thanks to our complementary portfolios, we will jointly develop innovative solutions that contribute to our robotics ecosystem strategy. Through this partnership, we offer our customers even more stability and reliability in the idealworks brand,” says Michael Alexander Schneider, CEO of idealworks.
Artificial intelligence as key success factor
The cooperation offers both partners extensive growth potential: Agile Robots AG is active in major regions of the world and, in addition to its expertise in robotics and artificial intelligence, contributes its global network. idealworks brings in the BMW Group as one of its largest customers and its industrial know-how. Following the first successfully completed customer projects in the USA, idealworks’ global business will expand to the Asia-Pacific region as early as next year.
In a dynamic competitive environment, both companies rely on cross-process platforms that enable the simultaneous integration of several robots — including devices from third-party providers. Artificial intelligence is a key success factor when using heterogeneous robot fleets in complex environments and when creating digital twins for planning and simulation purposes.
The transaction is subject to prior approval by the relevant authorities. Both sides have agreed not to disclose the terms and conditions.
idealworks Corporate Communications
BMW Corporate Communications
Dr. Britta Ullrich
Agile Robots Corporate Communications
As a forward-thinking deep tech company, idealworks has been enabling the future of logistics and industrial automation since November 2020. Its flexible, scalable robotics ecosystem, featuring the intelligent automation platform AnyFleet for seamless mobile robot integration, the CE-certified autonomous mobile robot (AMR) iw.hub, and the advanced robotics operating system iw.os, is reshaping intralogistics processes for companies globally. Emerging from its roots as a BMW Group spinoff, idealworks is committed to driving efficiency and operational optimization in a rapidly evolving automation landscape.
Agile Robots AG
Agile Robots AG is an international high-tech company based in Munich, Germany, with more than 1,200 employees worldwide. Our mission is to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and robotics by developing systems that combine state-of-the-art force-moment sensing and world-leading image processing technology. This unique combination of technologies allows us to provide user-friendly and affordable robotic solutions that enable intelligent precision assembly. Further information is available at: https://www.agile-robots.com
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises over 30 production sites worldwide; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2022, the BMW Group sold nearly 2.4 million passenger vehicles and more than 202,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2022 was € 23.5 billion on revenues amounting to € 142.6 billion. As of 31 December 2022, the BMW Group had a workforce of 149,475 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the future at an early stage and consistently makes sustainability and efficient resource management central to its strategic direction, from the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase of all products.
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