Funding to private robotics companies nearly doubled in 2015, reaching a record high in deals and dollars.
Our robotics category excludes drones, but includes robotics companies focused on process and manufacturing automation, agricultural automation, surgical applications, and personal/social robots. Together, the companies have raised more than $1.4B in cumulative funding since 2011.
Our analysis includes all equity funding rounds and convertible notes, but excludes debt.
Global yearly financing history
Deals in robotics nearly doubled from 45 in 2014 to 83 in 2015. The investment growth rate during this period was 115%, compared 55% the previous year.
The highest funded round in 2015 was a $150M growth equity round raised by Auris Surgical Robotics, which is backed by investors including Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management and NaviMed Capital.
Except for a 2013 slowdown in the rate of growth, robotics deals have been nearly doubling year-over-year.
Global quarterly financing history
Q2’15 saw the peak in deal count. Over 20 companies across 7 countries raised financing. That quarter, Beijing-based Ninebot raised an $80M round, backed by investors including Sequoia Capital China and Shunwei Capital Partners.
The following quarter, Q3’15, saw an all-time high in funding, driven by the previously-mentioned mega-round raised by California-based Auris Surgical Robotics.
Funding dropped by almost 74% in the last quarter of 2015 on a quarter-on-quarter basis, though deal activity remained nearly the same as in Q3’15.
So far in Q1’16, funding has recovered from the slowdown in the previous quarter, but the numbers are still not on pace to equal the funding levels seen in the first three quarters of 2015.
Deal share by stage
Over 60 companies raised seed/angel funds and 20 companies raised Series A rounds over the last 5 years. Early-stage deal share dominated in all five years, except 2011, when mid-stage (Series B and C) rounds accounted for 54% of deal share.
Late-stage deal shares (Series D and E+) have been low across the years, reaching a five-year low of 6% in 2015.
The “other” category includes convertible notes, corporate minority rounds, and equity rounds not attributed to a particular stage.
Dollar share by stage
Though early-stage deals took higher deal share, late- and mid-stage rounds dominated in dollar share. Some of the highest-funded late-stage deals include a $45M Series E round raised by Liquid Robotics, a $45M Series F round raised by Sphero, and a series F round of $41M raised by 4Moms.
Most active VC investors
Pittsburgh-based Innovation Works was the most active VC investor in robotics, having invested in over 5 unique companies. Just in the last year, the VC seed-funded HEBI Robotics, Titan Robotics, Capsen Robotics, and IAM Robotics.
Intel Capital and Germany-based seed-stage investor High-Tech Grunderfonds were tied for second place. Since January 2015, the former has backed companies including Savioke, PraFly, and Ninebot, while the latter has invested in REVOBOTIK and Bionic Robotics.
|3||Two Sigma Ventures|
Most well-funded robotics compainies
California-based stealth mode robotics startups, Auris Surgical Robots, is the most well-funded company on the list. Backed by investors including Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management, NaviMed Capital, and Highland Capital Partners. Auris is developing a microsurgical robotic system for ophthalmic surgeries.
The rankings are based on equity funding raised by these companies.
|1||Auris Surgical Robots|
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