Not one to rest on its laurels, Amazon is investing in French firm Balyo. Balyo creates navigation technology which turns regular forklifts into self-driving vehicles. The seven-year deal could see Amazon take a stake of up to 29% in Balyo.
Under the agreement, Amazon will receive free stock warrants from Balyo representing up to 29% of the company, and Amazon will be able to exercise these based on orders it places with Balyo. All the stock warrants will be used if Amazon orders $300 million worth of the Balyo's products over the next seven years. Balyo is expecting to see in a 40% increase in revenue in 2019 compared to 2018, and the CEO plans to invest the money from this deal into enhancing its technologies.
Amazon has already heavily invested in making its fulfillment centers as automated as possible, utilizing robots made by Kiva Systems, which it bought for $775 million in 2012. The Kiva System robots are currently in use in fulfillment centers to take stock and transport them to the workers for sorting and packaging and can be quite mesmerizing to see in action. Embedded below is a video of the little robots at work.