March 4, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today

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Ox’s patented wearable device. Credit: Ox

Ox Raises $12.6M to Pioneer Human-Centered AI Supply Chain Improvements

Ox, an AI-powered technology platform for frontline operations, today announced the closing of a $12.6 million Series A round co-led by BBG Ventures and MaC Venture Capital. The round also includes participation from existing investors, Cortado Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Florida Funders, KCRise, Tech Square Labs, and Vuzix, and new investors, Atento Capital and Agya Ventures.

Human-centered automation uses intuitive workflows driven by software intelligence to guide operators through their tasks. Ox, founded in 2019 by engineer and Forbes 30 Under 30,  Charu Thomas, who was 19 years old at that time, is an Operator Experience (OX) platform that enhances the usability and effectiveness of frontline workers by providing them with real-time instructions, AI-powered assistance, and the next generation of industrial devices. 

Easy Adoption

Ox’s leading innovation is a patented wearable device (with novel voice capabilities and visual-based

workflow applications) that directs workers to complete tasks. The technology benefits workers by transforming tribal knowledge in manual processes such as fulfillment and replenishment into operational procedures, thereby creating a team of proficient frontline workers within 15 minutes instead of 6 weeks of training.

This technology has already been adopted by multiple Fortune 500 companies and has increased operational productivity by over 20%, setting a new standard for efficiency in the industry. Currently, the Ox platform powers over $500M in revenue across hundreds of daily-active operators.

“Our mission is to use software to improve the experience of frontline workers and drive better business

Charu Thomas, Ox’s Founder and CEO. Ox photo.

outcomes. We provide advanced tools and capabilities to engage and excite frontline workers, and we prioritize their needs by creating a system that values their work,” said Charu Thomas, Founder and CEO of Ox. “By doing so, we improve operator satisfaction and employee retention rates. At a time when investing in frontline workers is needed, human-centered automation is the way forward.” 

For many years, automation in the supply chain industry has largely entailed replacing human labor with expensive mechanical and robotic systems that can take years to install. By investing in software that prioritizes the human experience, businesses create jobs as well as achieve greater process efficiency across multiple facilities and reduce operating expenses simultaneously.

Yes, That Bentonville

“As we saw during the pandemic, supply chain management has a long way to go before it catches up

with the ever-expanding retail market,” said David Hall, Managing Partner of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. “We are proud to back Ox once again as they tackle this problem head-on by using AI to streamline warehouse management directly from Bentonville, Arkansas, a city that has emerged as a logistics and supply chain leader.” 

Series A celebration at Ox’s HQ in Bentonville, Arkansas. Ox photo.

According to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the supply chain faces a significant challenge in attracting and retaining workers, with one million open jobs in warehousing alone and an expected 6% increase in the number of material handling and logistics workers over the next decade. To meet the growing demand for efficiency, the global logistics automation market is expected to reach $121.3 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets

Series A funding will fuel customer expansion, scale additional use cases, and further pioneer the human-centered automation category throughout frontline operations. 

 “At BBG Ventures, we invest in visionary founders who are creating the next generation of change. Ox is doing just that across supply chain operations, an area that is ripe for digital transformation,” said Susan Lyne, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of BBG Ventures. “We are proud to invest in Ox and their mission to make frontline workers a central part of the solution. As a firm that backs female founders, we are thrilled to partner with Charu and the Ox team as they continue to grow their impact.” 

By Dr. Laura

By Dr. Laura

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