February fundings for 16 robotics-related startups totaled over $313 million – another solid month for the new year. Acquisitions also continued to be substantial with Ford’s acquisition of Argo and Midea Group’s purchase of Servotronix. Plus there were two IPOs.
“The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and autonomous vehicles will have as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said in a statement. “As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.”
“Last quarter we announced our strategy to drive innovation and widespread adoption for in-flight wireless connectivity through our Airborne LTE Operations initiative, a new service to simplify certification and connectivity of wireless drones. This acquisition is a natural progression of our core focus on operating in innovative, high-growth markets, leveraging our network, scale, fleet management, device management, data analytics and security enablement capabilities and services to simplify the drone industry and help support the adoption of IoT,” said Mike Lanman, Verizon SVP Enterprise Products and IoT.
“This alliance will provide Servotronix with significant leverage for our global operations and put Servotronix in a leadership position in the field of robotics, control and automation, with China being a major market in this field,” said Dr. Ilan Cohen, president, CEO and founder of Servotronix.
Two crowdfunded IPOs under Reg A+ of the SEC – the new rules under the JOBS Act allowing private companies to raise up to $50 million via crowdfunding technology: