2021, or the year of the Ox, has already been good for the team behind Arkansas-based Ox Fulfillment Solutions (previously Oculogx).
After announcing its new name in January, the team is starting out the month of March with a new $3.5 million seed round, which will help the startup grow its augmented reality technology and fulfillment tool in the supply chain logistics space.
The round was led by California-based MaC Venture Capital and Oklahoma-based Cortado Ventures, with additional participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Vuzix, Florida Funders, KCRise Fund, and Willow Growth Partners.
Charu Thomas, Ox’s founder and CEO, told Hypepotamus that the team is currently 11 people strong, located in Arkansas, New Orleans, and across the country.
Thomas founded the company during her time as a student at Georgia Tech. While in Atlanta, the team expanded its AR platform for streamlining the warehouse ordering process.
The platform integrates with a warehouse’s current ordering management system and optimizes the “pick-from-store operations” experience for workers.
Thomas and her team also picked up a win at the 2017 Atlanta Startup Battle.
She relocated the company to Arkansas after going through the Fuel Accelerator, a program focused on startups in the AI and machine learning space.
Thomas said that the move to Bentonville, Arkansas “has been great for the company. A more central location allows us to be closer to some of our clients. We’re looking forward to expanding and watching Ox continue to grow!”
The seed round will help the team grow out more strategic partnerships, which will be particularly important to keep up with consumer demands for fast shipping and more streamlined in-store pickup options. Thomas said they are currently working with Vuzix’s Smart Glasses to help power Ox’s AR integration.
Thomas started working on the idea after seeing the pain points of warehouse fulfillment first hand. “I had previously worked in a warehouse, so I knew how to best optimize the systems that were already in place while using my background in hardware prototyping and software development to create something entirely new. Ox provides its customers with a seamless experience for maximizing efficiency in all areas of fulfillment, from tailored onboarding of employees to real-time built-in associate messaging,” she added in a statement about the funding round.
“When seeking out next-generation investments, we look for technology capable of disrupting antiquated industries,” said Michael Palank, General Partner at MaC Venture Capital. “Very few companies are capitalizing on supply chain logistics and order fulfillment for simple but crucial tasks such as online grocery shopping. Ox is disrupting the retail industry by not only helping companies make the most of tools they already have but giving them the tools they need to work smarter than the competition.”
Ox is the latest Southeast-based startup to raise funds in the red hot supply chain space. One such startup is Atlanta’s Verusen, which raised an $8 million Series A round in January to help organize data from disparate systems.