Ocado’s automated warehouse rival Autostore to launch $12 billion IPO in major challenge to grocer

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Ocado’s key rival AutoStore, which is suing the online grocer for copyright infringement of its core technology, is set to launch a $12 billion initial public offering (IPO).

AutoStore launched a major lawsuit against Ocado in October last year, claiming that its robotic warehouse picking systems, on which a large portion of its business is based, were built using its designs.

The warehouse robotics giant is now set to launch what could be Norway’s biggest IPO in two decades as its valuation skyrocketed amid the ongoing international labour shortage, the Financial Times reported.

Its robots are able to largely replace human warehouse workers, fulfilling individual customer orders automatically.

The pandemic-driven online sales boom has driven a surge in demand for automated warehouse technology, with sales in the sector set to double between 2019 and 2026 to $30 billion according to data from LogisticsIQ.

READ MORE: Ocado loses major court battle against rival AutoStore as patent infringement case heats up

This spike in demand has seen AutoStore forecast sales of $300 million this year, rising to $500 million in 2022, outpacing the growth of its key rival Ocado.

AutoStore also far outpaces Ocado’s profit margins at 50 per cent, compare to the British retailers seven per cent it reported last year.

Japanese investment giant SoftBank purchased a 40 per cent stake in AutoStore for $2.8 billion earlier this year, helping the firm achieve a potential valuation of $12 billion marking a 50 per cent increase on 2019.

The IPO is set to launch in Oslo next month, and AutoStore’s numerous patent infringement cases against Ocado are ongoing.

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