Cleveron, a company in Viljandi that produces automated package machines, has received €2.2 million from investors in the form of a loan with the option to a stake in the company. The money is needed to keep up with Cleveron's quickly growing American business.
Founder and CEO of Cleveron, Arno Kütt, told ERR that there were fewer than ten investors behind the sum, and that all of it came from Estonia. The company has three years to make a return on the loan it received.
Attached to the loan is the option to a stake in Cleveron. If the investors wish to do so, they can acquire a small stake in the company, Kütt confirmed. The share in that case is below 5 percent of Cleveron's total equity.
The company is using the investors' money mainly to grow its business in the United States. In autumn last year, Cleveron opened its first package robot in a Walmart supermarket, and the company has confirmed that it wants to sell 15,000 such machines to the U.S. market.
Walmart lets customers order ahead. They can then pick up their shopping from the automated packaging machine. As Kütt explains, the company has grown very quickly in the U.S., which is why they needed additional capital.
For Cleveron this is the first round of investment raised like this, though in 2008 the Estonian Development Fund along with other investors contributed €1 million to Smartpost, Cleveron's predecessor.
Smartpost's machines were later bought by Finnish company Itella, and as the Smartpost brand was part of the deal, the company moved on to its new name, Cleveron.
According to Kütt, Cleveron currently has no plan in place how to raise money in the future. At the same time, they had also considered getting the company listed at the Tallinn exchange, he added.
Editor: Dario Cavegn