Logistics robotics startup Ambi raises $26M

Ambi Robotics

Five months ago, Ambi Robotics emerged from stealth with a $6 million raise. Today the Bay Area-based firm is back with several times that, announcing a $26 million Series A, led by Tiger Global. The new round also features participation from existing investors, including Bow Capital, Vertex Ventures US and The House Fund.

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Carbon Robotics secures $27M for its autonomous field weeders

Carbon Robotics

Agricultural robotics firm Carbon Robotics (not to be confused with our former Battlefield contestant) announced this week that it has secured $27 million in funding. The round — which features Anthos Capital, Ignition Capital, Fuse Venture Partners and Voyager Capital — follows an $8.4 million Series A raised back in 2019. The company’s total funding is now at around $36 million.

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Last-mile robotic delivery firm Coco raises $36M

Coco

Los Angeles delivery robot startup Coco this week has announced $36 million in funding. The Series A was led by Sam Altman, Silicon Valley Bank and Founders Fund, with participation from Sam Nazarian, Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero. It brings the company’s total funding up to around $43 million.

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Diamond Age raises $8M to speed up home construction with 3D printing and robot arms

Diamond Age

Bay Area-based Diamond Age this week announced that it has raised $8 million. The seed round is led by Prime Movers Lab and Alpaca VC and features a slew of additional firms, including Dolby Family Ventures, Calm Ventures, Gaingels, Towerview Ventures, GFA Venture Partners and Suffolk Construction.

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Robotic AI firm Covariant raises another $80 million

Robotic arm - Covariant

In May of last year, Covariant announced that it had raised a $40 million Series B. It was a healthy sum of money for the young company, bringing its total funding up to $67 million. Just a little over a year later, the Berkeley-based AI startup is adding another $80 million to its coffers, riding on a wave that dramatically accelerated interest in robotics and AI during the pandemic.

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Path Robotics raises another $100M

Path Robotics

In May, Path Robotics announced a $56 million Series B. It was a sizable raise, as far as robotics rounds go. But the Columbus, Ohio-based startup is already back for more, raising a “pre-emptive” Series C a mere two and a half months later. And it’s a biggie. The firm has raised $100 million, led by Tiger Global and featuring participation from Silicon Valley Bank, an existing investor. The deal brings the robotic welding firm’s total funding to $171 million.

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Verve Motion raises $15M following exosuit pilot with grocery workers

Verve Motion Robotics

The exoskeleton/exosuit category has been heating up over the past few years. It makes sense, really. There are two giant — and dramatically different — potential customer bases. On one end are those sorts of jobs that could benefit from some wearable assistance. On the other are people with mobility issues for whom such technology might go a long way.
Founded last year by a team spun out of Conor Walsh‘s lab at Harvard’s Wyss Institute and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Verve Motion is targeting the former for now. You probably don’t need a bunch of stats to realize that labor-intensive work often ends in injury, but here are a trio from the startup’s site anyway:

One million back injuries occur in U.S. workplaces each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
260+ million work days are lost every year due to back injury, according to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative
$14 billion in direct costs hit U.S. employers annually, according to Liberty Mutual Workplace Index 2018

Image Credits: ADUSA Distribution
If you can’t appeal to people’s sense of common decency, then at least you can appeal to their wallets. Whichever the case, Verve Motion is announcing some fresh funding, following both a seed round and a successful pilot with ADUSA (Ahold Delhaize), a large grocery distribution firm. That funding arrived during the pandemic, when many essential workers in the food supply chain were being pushed to their physical limits on a daily basis.
This time out, the firm has raised a $15 million Series A, led by Construct Capital and featuring a bunch of existing investors, like Founder Collective, Pillar VC, Safar Partners and OUP.
“This new round of funding will fuel the continued development of our solution and scale operations to meet the growing demand for our product in order to get it to the workers who need it most right now,” co-founder and CEO Ignacio Galiana said in a release. “We are grateful for the support of this exceptional group of new and existing investors, and are thrilled to welcome Construct Capital as we create solutions for the industrial workforce of the future.”
Verve’s first product is the SafeLift, a fabric-based soft exosuit capable of adapting to its wearer’s movements and reducing up to 30 to 40% of back strain.

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Gembah raises $11M to ‘democratize product innovation’

Gembah

Gembah’s mission statement is a deceptively simple one. The Austin-based company says it’s looking to “democratize product innovation by drastically lowering barriers to entry for creation of new products.” In that respect, at least, it’s not so dissimilar from various startup initiatives that have arrived over the past decade and change, from crowdfunding to additive manufacturing.

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Fetch Robotics’ CEO on the company’s acquisition and the future of warehouse robots

Yesterday, enterprise computing corporation Zebra Technologies announced its plan to acquire Fetch Robotics. The San Jose-based startup has been a mainstay in warehouse and fulfillment robotics for a number of years, offering a modular system designed to automate companies behind the scenes. The full deal is valued at $305 million, with Zebra acquiring the remaining 95% of the company for $290 million. It comes as interest in the category is at an all-time high, following widespread labor shortages during the pandemic.

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Surgical robotics company CMR raises $600M

Medical robotics

UK-based robotics company CMR Surgical this morning announced a $600 million Series D. This latest round, led by Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 and co-led by Ally Bridge Group, joins an existing $384.8 million already raised by the Cambridge firm. It values the company at $3 billion.
CMR’s flagship product is Versius. The robotic system is designed to perform minimally invasive keyhole surgery, primarily focused on serious conditions like bowel disease or bowel cancer. The platform has been used globally and has thus far been involved in 1,000 surgeries, according to CMR’s numbers.
Four NHS (National Health Service) hospitals in the U.K. have enlisted the surgical platform, along with a slew of other locations in Europe, India, the Middle East and Australia. As CMR notes, the pandemic has resulted in a massive backlog in surgical procedures.
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Like many other robotic surgical platforms, one of Versius’s primary appeals is a sense of accessibility – essentially helping level the playing field for complex procedures. The system is modular and portable compared to a number of competitors, further increasing that accessibility. The company says funding will go toward accelerating the platform’s global roll out.
“This latest financing equips CMR with significant funds to accelerate our mission of bringing Versius to hospitals worldwide, whilst providing full flexibility to achieve our goals,” CEO Per Vegard Nerseth said in a release tied to the news. “This major injection of capital that now values us at $3billion not only reflects the level of interest we have seen in our product, but also the scale of the business, and will enable significant technology developments and global expansion.”
Surgical robotics have been an increasingly popular category for VC funds of late. Recent rounds include $96 million for Memic, $10 million for ForSight and $15 million for Activ. Even by those standards however, this is a massive round for the category.

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Realtime Robotics raises a $31M Series A

Realtime robotics

Boston-based Realtime Robotics this morning announced a $31.4 million round The funding is part of the $11.7 million Series A the company announced all the way back in late 2019. Investors include HAHN Automation, SAIC Capital Management, Soundproof Ventures , Heroic Ventures, SPARX Asset Management, Omron Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Scrum Ventures and Duke Angels.

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Chef Robotics raises $7.7M to help automate kitchens

Person cooking

San Francisco-based Chef Robotics today announced that it has raised a combined $7.7 million pre-seed and seed round, with the goal of helping automate certain aspects of food preparation. The list of investors is pretty long on this one (with seed and pre-seed rolled up into one), including Kleiner Perkins, Promus Ventures, Construct, Bloomberg Beta, BOLD Capital Partners, Red and Blue Ventures, Gaingels, Schox VC, Stewart Alsop and Tau Ventures, among others.

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