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grabitNike has made a minority investment in Silicon Valley-based Grabit, an industrial automation materials handling solutions company.

Grabit uses electroadhesion technology that allows manufacturers in industries such as logistics, manufacturing and assembly to hold or grasp objects with little power and no actuation.

“As an innovation company Nike sees strategic partnerships as a key element of our growth strategy,” Nike Chief Operating Officer Eric Sprunk said in a press release. “While this is still an early-stage technology, Grabit’s electro-adhesion technology could certainly have a range of useful applications across logistics, distribution or manufacturing in the future.”

Nike’s investment was part of Grabit’s $3 million Series A round on Monday. The Beaverton, Ore.-based shoe giant isn’t saying exactly how it will partner with Grabit, but the company could be using Grabit’s technology to help automate processes in its factories. The move reminds me of Amazon, who acquired Massachusetts-based maker of fulfillment center automation technology Kiva Systems last year.

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