The Boston Globe has a story about Symbotic, which has evolved into one of Massachusetts' biggest companies and is catering to retailers with supply chain challenges with a new business venture.
"Rick Cohen, chief executive of warehouse robotics maker Symbotic, has a knack for attracting big partners.
"Cohen, who was the third generation to run his family’s supermarket supply company C&S Wholesale Grocers, hit on warehouse automation as a big opportunity about 15 years ago. He shifted from C&S to run Symbotic at the end of 2017 and won over Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son and Walmart as major investors. Walmart, also Symbotic’s biggest customer, is planning to add the automated systems eventually to all 42 of its massive US regional distribution centers.
"Now, Cohen and Son are starting a new business together, an offshoot of Symbotic that will set up its own automated warehouses to offer space to small and medium-sized businesses. Symbotic will own 35 percent of the company, dubbed GreenBox, and Son’s investment firm SoftBank will own the rest … Partnering with SoftBank on GreenBox is part of what Cohen calls his 'Go Big, Go Fast' strategy. Symbotic could have started the effort as a business of its own but wouldn’t have the billions of dollars SoftBank brought to the table. 'In the early years of C&S, if I had had more capital, I could have grown C&S to a much larger company than even it is today,' Cohen said on a Monday call with analysts."