Smart money VCs have been active in funding notable robotics startups in the last few years.
From factory floors to homes, the demand for robots as workers, companions, medical assistants, cooks and security guards — among other applications — is increasing.
Though the spotlight has been on the industrial automation sector — with countries including Germany, China, the United States, and Japan emerging as top markets for industrial robots— consumer and service robots have also piqued the interest of investors. Just this year, service robot Savioke raised a $17M Series A round from investors including Intel Capital and Northern Light Venture Capital; China-based humanoid robotics startup UBTECH joined the unicorn club; and Wonder Workshop, the makers of Dot and Dash educational robots for children, raised a Series B round from investors including well-known VC CRV.
We used our database to identify 80+ robotics startups that have raised equity funding rounds since January 2013. A majority of the startups on the map below have VC backing. Here are some of the investment highlights:
- China-based humanoid robotics startup UBTECH joined the unicorn club in July 2016 with a $1B valuation and a $100M Series B fund from Hong Kong-based investment bank CITIC Securities International, private equity firm Goldstone Investment, and investment management firm CDH Investments. The company previously raised $1.39M in crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
- Eight of the industrial robotics companies on the map, including Japan-based LifeRobotics, Pittsburgh-based Seegrid, and China’s Quotient Kinematics Machine, raised equity funding rounds this year.
- The largest round was a $149.6M growth equity round raised by medical devices startup Auris Surgical Robots, backed by Lux Capital and Mithril Capital Management.
- The consumer robotics category includes social/entertainment robots, house cleaning robots, and desktop robotic arms. Eight of the consumer robotics startups on the map, including UBTECH, A.I. Nemo, and CloudMinds, are based in China, with some like Rokid having offices in the United States as well (check out our list of robotics startups to watch in China). Personal transportation startup Ninebot, which bought US-based Segway and raised an $80M round last year from investors including Sequoia Capital China and Xiaomi, also raised from Intel Capital in January. Social robotics startup Anki raised a $52.5M Series D round from Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Two Sigma Ventures in Q2’16.
- Previously-mentioned startup Auris Surgical Robots is the most well-funded startup on the map below, followed by Anki and Medrobotics.
- Smart Money VCs have participated in over 20 equity funding rounds to more than 10 unique companies on the map since January 2013. To name a few, Khosla Ventures backed ag tech robotics startup Blue River Technology, fast food industry robot Momentum Machines, as well as patient monitoring robot Catalia Health; CRV invested in manufacturing industry robot Rethink Robotics, social robot Jibo, and educational robotics startup Wonder Workshop; Andreessen Horowitz backed Anki; and Foundry Group backed Colorado-based startups Sphero and Modular Robotics.
The startups on the map below have raised an equity funding round after January 2013. The map excludes drones and driverless cars.
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