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Oxbotica, an Oxford, England-based startup that develops autonomous vehicle software, closed a $47 million Series B investment today. Oxbotica, which spun out of Oxford University in 2014, has now raised about $80 million to date.
The Series B was led by bp ventures, the investing arm of oil and gas giant bp. BGF, Halma, HostPlus, IP Group, Tencent, Venture Science and others also participated in the round.
The new funding will help scale Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle software, called Selenium, across multiple industries. Oxbotica will start with vehicles used in industrial applications such as mining and port logistics. Perhaps its lead investor, bp, is a sign of the size of its potential customers and projects in the industrial space. Oxbotica said on-road applications such as the transportation of goods and people are further out.
Selenium can handle an autonomous vehicle’s navigation, mapping, perception, and machine learning. Oxbotica said Selenium doesn’t need to rely on external infrastructure such as GPS, lane markings or pre-existing HD maps, although those can be used if available. Oxbotica said this makes the technology well suited to work both outdoors and indoors, as well as for on-road and off-road applications. Watch the video below to learn more about how Selenium applies to mining equipment.
Oxbotica said Selenium is hardware and sensor agnostic and can use radar, laser or vision sensing. It can be deployed as a standalone system or integrated into third-party stacks.
Oxbotica also offers a cloud-based fleet and data management system called Caesium. This system can integrate with Selenium to coordinate a fleet of vehicles, manage data collection, query log files, and remotely trigger specific data collection.
“This round of investment marks a key chapter in Oxbotica’s continued growth and pushes us forward in commercialising our autonomous software today, through key strategic go-to-market partnerships,” said Ozgur Tohumcu, CEO, Oxbotica. “The high-quality and global footprint of our investors cements our position as a leader in autonomy. We will use funds raised to accelerate the global deployment of our transformative technology.”
“bp ventures is delighted to invest in Oxbotica – we believe its software could accelerate the market for autonomous vehicles,” said Erin Hallock, managing partner, bp ventures.
“Oxbotica provides autonomy where it makes sense today: delivering safety, cost and environmental benefits,” said Jamie Vollbracht, Partner, Cleantech at IP Group plc. “Two years after IP Group’s first investment, we are delighted to be able to welcome multiple value-adding investors to the share register. This substantial funding round will enable Oxbotica to move to the next stage, delivering those benefits in multiple applications across the globe.”
Investments and mergers and acquisitions in the robotics industry are off to a fast start in 2021. Teledyne is acquiring FLIR for $8 billion, while Stryker acquired OrthoSensor, for an undisclosed amount, to enhance its Mako surgical robots. And AMP Robotics, a developer of pick-and-place robots that sort recyclable materials from waste flows, raised a $55 million Series B.