Though the majority of robotics deals went to US-based startups in the last five years, the share of deals going to robotics startups outside the United States has been on the rise. Starting at 29% of deals in 2012, deals to non-US startups fluctuated before reaching a 5-year high of 45% in 2016.
We used the CB Insights database to identify deals to startups outside the US between 2015-2016.
Note: Our robotics category excludes driverless car startups and companies focused exclusively on software and robotic/drone operating systems. We exclude debt financings from our data. This map is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in this space.
Here are some of the investment highlights:
- China: Around 8% of global deal share to robotics startups went to China-based startups in 2015. Intel Capital backed two startups that year: personal transportation robot Ninebot and drones startup Yuneec; Accel Partners backed drone startup DJI Innovations in a $75M Series B round; and Sequoia Capital China backed industrial robotics startup Quotient Kinematics in a $5M Series A round. Deal share fell to 6% in 2016, but China saw 2 $100M mega-rounds last year raised by unicorn company UBTECH and consumer robot ROOBO.
- France: From less than 1% in 2015, deal share to France-based companies rose to 7% in 2016. The top round was a $14.15M round raised by industrial drone startup Delair-Tech, backed by France-based investment firm Andromede.
- India: Startups in India received 4% of the deals in 2016. Accel Partners India backed Bengaluru-based industrial robotics startup Systemantics in Q1’16.
Track all the robotics startups in this brief and many more on our platform
Startups building robots for enterprise, consumer, medical, and military applications. Sign up for a free trial and look for Robotics Startups in the Collections tab.
- UK: UK-based startups also accounted for 4% of global deal share in 2016. To name a few, Cambridge Medical Robotics raised $20M in Series A from investors including ABB Technology and Escala Capital; social robot Olly raised $10M in Series A from Lightning Capital and Alliance Capital Ventures; and educational robot-building startup tio was seed-funded by the Kickstarter Accelerator.
- Smart Money VCs: CRV backed Israel-based automated drone startup Airobotics in a $28.5M combined Series A and B round in Q2’16. Battery Ventures backed another Israel-based autonomous drone startup, Dronomy. Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital China backed previously mentioned drone company DJI Innovations. First Round Capital backed Canada-based Kindred Systems in a $15M seed round, along with investors like Google Ventures, Data Collective, and Bloomberg Beta.
- Top funded rounds: The top 5 rounds since January 2015 (excluding US deals) were raised by China-based startups. Humanoid robotics startup UBTECH raised a $100M Series B round and joined the unicorn club in Q3’16. Companion robot ROOBO raised $100M in Series A from iFLYTEK. Previously mentioned transportation robot company Ninebot raised $80M from investors including Xiaomi and Sequoia Capital China. DJI Innovations raised $75M in Series B, and Intel Capital invested $60M in drone startup Yuneec.