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People & Profit – How Amazon inspired France’s new unicorn: Robotics startup Exotec CEO on success

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The robotics startup Exotec has become France’s 25th unicorn company, valued at $2 billion after its latest fundraising round. The firm makes robots for e-commerce depots, and counts big names like Carrefour, Uniqlo and Decathlon among its customers. Exotec’s CEO Romain Moulin told FRANCE 24 the inspiration for the company actually came from online retail giant Amazon.

When Amazon decided to keep its Kiva technology in-house, it inspired Exotec’s co-founders to build their own fleet of robots for other companies.

“The Amazon move was really the starting point to make us think about it,” Moulin said, laughing at the idea he might want to thank Amazon boss Jeff Bezos for his success.

Moulin also tells FRANCE 24 about the significance of reaching unicorn status, and how the company plans to expand its operations in northern France.

Also in the programme:

  • European cheesemakers create a stink after losing a court battle in the United States over the use of the name gruyère. We look at reactions from both sides of the Atlantic.

     

  • The French factories with an off switch: we find out how major French industrial plants can be cut off from the grid to avoid power blackouts.

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