February was another big month for investments in robotic startup companies. 3D Robotics, Flyability, Fetch Robotics, EHang and many others.
Equity and crowd fundings:
- 3D Robotics raised $50M in a Series C round bringing total investment to date of $85M. Qualcomm was the principle investor in this round and 3DR intends to use the funds to expand R&D and begin using Snapdragon processors and Qualcomm sensors.
- Fetch Robotics gets $3M to bring their new mobile manipulator to market and to hire up to 10 positions in addition to their present 10-member team. Fetch intends to display a research edition of their new robot at ICRA in May in Seattle.
- RoboCV, a Russian startup and developer of a range of autopilot vehicle products, got $3 to scale up activities for robotizing mobile vehicles (forklifts, warehouse and mine tugs and tows) with vision, navigation and collision avoidance systems.
- Flyability wins $1M award in a UAE-sponsored contest entitled ‘Drones for Good.’ The same organization has set up a new contest: ‘Robotics for Good.’ The goal is to encourage robotics innovation that benefits society in the areas of education, healthcare and social services. Two prizes will be given: a national prize worth 1M AED, and an international prize worth $1M USD.
- Ehang Ghost Drone gets $10M funding and $857,851 from IndieGoGo. The $10M Series A round actually happened on December 30, 2014 but it wasn’t widely publicized. They also received $858k from their IndieGoGo campaign which concluded mid January.
- Sight Machine raised $5M to help manufacturers use advanced technology to get a handle on their data, particularly small datasets which are generally characterized as data describing what tracked objects are doing, e.g.: does the soil have the right mixture of nutrients or what is that mobile robot seeing?
- Somabar got $312,717 from a Kickstarter campaign for their stylish wifi-enabled cocktail maker and app.
- iCamPRO got $250,000 from an IndieGoGo campaign for their omnidirectional security camera with motion detection and follow capabilities. iCamPRO is a brand of Amaryllo Intl., an Amsterdam-based Dutch consumer and security products provider.
Not really an equity funding, but a fund for equity investing, Bolt, a Boston-based hardware accellerator and venture capital firm, completed funding of an investment fund of $25M to enable investing in new ventures bringing complex connected hardware products to market, some of which are robotic. Bolt established a new San Francisco facility (they share with Autodesk Pier 9 Workshop) and plan to focus on SV startups and invest up to $500k per startup.
And not fitting any other category, a bankruptcy judge cleared the way for Seegrid to exit from Chapter 11 by okaying the reorganization plan and rejecting challenges lodged by the ex-CEO.
Perceptron continues its acquisition spree by purchasing Coord 3 for approximately $15 million. Coord 3 is an Italian provider of metrology equipment and has a line of measurement robots. Perceptron develops, produces, and sells 3D machine vision solutions for measurement, inspection, and robot guidance in industrial applications.
And finally, Intuitive Automata and their little interactive diet robot Autom ran out of money and failed. CEO and founder Cory Kidd has moved back from Hong Kong and on to another San Francisco-based startup: Catalia Health.