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The Redwood Difference

Investment, Partnership, Advising

How We Operate

Redwood invests in and adds value to companies with differentiated automation solutions. Redwood has the flexibility to invest in seed through to late stage capital rounds and has numerous connections and experience with independent investment groups to bring larger amounts of capital to the table.

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Key Areas of Engagement

Making the financial case for automation has become a lot more complex. Labor savings were traditionally the main driver, but that has now given way to solving for a lack of labor availability. Labor availability is now a very real barrier to growth for many customers and the real driver of automation decisions. This makes the right automation solution even more valuable. In real world environments the value of that automated solution comes down to understanding and managing exceptions - does it automation 100% or 50% and what additional operational and information systems changes are needed.

Redwood has very deep hands on experience working with some of the largest buyers of automated solutions to concept, engineer and make the financial case.

The Intelligrated Story

Our team features the leaders of Intelligrated, who went from an idea to business plan, startup to global leader with sales in excess of $1.0B in just 15 years, ultimately selling to Honeywell for $1.5B in 2016.

Intelligrated was born in 2001, when Jim McCarthy and Chris Cole (former c-suite executives at The Buschman Company and Pinnacle Automation) began receiving calls from former customers telling them they missed their level of service, innovation, and value. They began to focus on better ways to service the customer as well as rethinking the technology and capability changes that could differentiate a new company from the established players already in the market.

The major competitors had significant market share and brand recognition. So, if a new competitor was going to compete in this space it was clear - think and act big or stay out of the game. That meant a very “big bang” approach that would require major facilities, broad and deep talent, extremely competitive products and capabilities and the image to equal competitors. This would require top talent, significant infrastructure and the “need for speed”. To do this would require a lot of capital as well. The vision was clear: create a company to compete with the world’s best providers of complex material handling systems focusing primarily on warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment. To win we had to be better in every way.

Like all start-ups there are some surprises along the way. For us it was 9/11 2001. Exactly one week after we opened our doors. Then the dotcom bust in the early 2000’s. And later the Great Recession. But while these were significant events, in all cases there were positive offsets and, in many ways, became inflection points of its growth and development.

The rapid growth Intelligrated realized was only possible because of the talented team at the helm and the committed hard work of our people and commitment of our financial partners. Along the way we were able to buy back a significant portion of the assets from their previous firms. Bringing the companies together in a truly spectacular combination of people, products, capabilities, and market segments and customers served. The market view of this mergers has extremely positive and became the real ignition of a spectacular period of growth and market acceptance. Our ability to offer wider solutions, broader industry segment coverage and deep bench strength with unmatched capacity truly set us apart and powered our success.

Just fifteen years after its launch, Intelligrated had established operations across North America, in several countries servicing South America, and China. Manufacturing included 5 modern plants and over 1 million square feet. Employees totaled over 3,500 and the enterprise value which began at zero was $1.5 Billion when sold to Honeywell in 2016. Intelligrated’ s markets served included Warehousing, Fulfillment, Manufacturing, Parcel, Postal and e-commerce. The customer list included most of the top retailers, manufacturers, e-commerce companies, United States Post Office, Canadian Post Office and a very large parcel company. Its linkage to its customers was intimate and remarkable. And the exceptional culture of the company was truly - customer first – always.

This experience across functions, industries, and partners is what we can offer to help not just support your organization financially, but strategically as well. We want you to succeed, and our passion is helping you get there.

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