Bentonville startup Ox lands $3.5 million in seed funding

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,733 views 

Ox (formerly Oculogx), an order fulfillment startup based in Bentonville, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. The company announced the news in a blog post.

“We’re excited to use this seed funding to further expand our portfolio to help more industry-leading retail companies integrate a complete end-to-end solution,” the company said.

The round was led by MaC Venture Capital and Cortado Ventures, with additional participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Vuzix, Florida Funders, KCRise Fund and Willow Growth Partners. The funding will help Ox “invest in partnerships, expand its operations and develop a wider in-house team,” according to the blog post.

“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.”

Bentonville entrepreneur Charu Thomas is Ox’s founder and CEO. She started the company in 2019 as an engineering undergraduate and researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology. The company won the Atlanta Startup Battle and was a TC Top Picks for TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019. Thomas relocated in 2019 to Northwest Arkansas. Forbes chose her for its 2020 “30 Under 30” list

Ox provides omnichannel order fulfillment software using augmented reality (AR) that makes order picking faster and more accurate. Some of its customers include Walmart, Google and Newell Brands. Ox’s platform integrates with a company’s order management system and provides tools — unique to each retailer — to transform its brick-and-mortar stores into micro-distribution centers through optimized pick-from-store operations.

“I realized that in order to keep up with the massive and ever-growing retail market, traditional supply chains needed help catching up to the competition,” Thomas said. “This is when I began developing an AR platform for warehouse order picking. 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.”

After approximately a year on the market, Ox said its platform had a 3600% return on investment.

Ox changed its name from Oculogx earlier this year and has 11 employees.