British Online Grocer Ocado, Known For Its Automated Warehouses, Acquires Two U.S. Robotics Companies

Ocado, the U.K. online grocer that has increasingly sold its e-commerce and automated warehouse technology to other supermarkets around the world, has acquired two U.S. robotics companies.

The acquisitions will bolster Ocado’s grocery technology, enabling the company and the other supermarkets it serves to replace some current warehouse workers. It also signals Ocado’s move into helping other kinds of retailers fulfill online orders.

The company said Monday that it has bought Kindred Systems, a San Francisco–based robotics company whose warehouse robots help customers such as Gap and American Eagle Outfitters, for $262 million in cash. It is also buying Haddington Dynamics, a small company based in Las Vegas that makes a sophisticated robotic arm for customers including DuPont and NASA, for $25 million in cash and stock.

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