Cortado Ventures is pleased to announce it has funded Ox, a Northwest Arkansas-based company. The Seed investment led by Cortado and MaC Ventures is enabling Ox to execute on current pilots and make key hires. The company intends to use this funding to invest in partnerships, expand its operations and develop a wider in-house team. With its recent round of funding and continued success throughout the past 11 months, Ox expects to see exponential growth in the next quarter. 

The Cortado Ventures fund is managed by partners Nathaniel Harding, David Woods, and Mike Moradi.  The fund invests in early stage companies in a variety of Oklahoma regional sectors by aggregating and managing investor capital, and helps startups grow through seed funding, collaboration, and mentorship.  The Cortado partners have launched the venture capital fund to build next generation companies which will bring future-ready technology jobs to the region.

Designed to help businesses meet the ever-growing consumer needs for fast shipping and in-store pickup, Ox eliminates the time that supply chains spend manually assigning work and tracking performance. Ox’s state-of-the-art platform integrates with a company’s current 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. Through its machine learning software, Ox has created a process for workforce optimization, providing management staff with a way to maximize productivity, automate work assignments, gain visibility over orders and measure employee performance. After implementing Ox into its supply chain, employees never have to touch a button, worry about scanners or carry around a handheld device again. Ox’s augmented reality technology can make picking orders up to 15% faster and 80% more accurate than any other existing technology. This novel system, which transforms the omnichannel retail method, has attracted industry leaders to the company, whose clientele includes numerous Fortune 500 companies.

“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,” said Charu Thomas, Founder and CEO of Ox. “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.”

Nathaniel Harding, Managing Partner of Cortado Ventures, said, “Ox has developed an innovative platform that allows retail stores to operate effectively as micro distribution centers. Companies can seamlessly integrate this product and optimize speed, accuracy and training through an augmented reality user interface. This platform has the ability to make a transformational impact on the retail ecommerce industry – an industry with global sales exceeding $3.5 trillion.”

“We’re pleased to partner with Ox through our investment and our expanding network,” added Cortado Entrepreneur in Residence Blake Bixler, who will also serve on the Ox board of directors. “The platform combines a backend batch optimization order fulfillment system with wearables for pickwalkers to improve accuracy of order fulfillment and efficiency of pickwalks, fulfilling a real need for the ecommerce industry across the nation.” 

CEO Charu Thomas developed expertise in augmented reality in college while working with one of the inventors of Google Glass at Georgia Tech. She was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Manufacturing & Industry in 2020. Cortado Ventures will support the company as it expands and prepares for pilots and then full launch, enabling strategic partnerships for the company’s growth and quickly scaling the company with channel partners. 

Cortado Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in ambitious, growth-driven companies to define a new generation of economic prosperity for Oklahoma and the immediate region.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Nathaniel Harding at (405) 698-1748, or email nharding@cortado.ventures.