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March fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures

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04 April 2016



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Source: cbinsights.com

Source: cbinsights.com

Funding for robotics startup companies rose dramatically in 2015 reaching record highs in deals and dollars. CB Insights, a VC database provider, reported similar findings as seen in their quarterly financing chart.

Listed below are the results for March including two billion dollar acquisitions.

March fundings:

  • 6 River Systems raised $6 million in seed funding from VC firms Eclipse and iRobot Ventures. Founded in 2015 by former Kiva Systems and Mimio executives and based in Boston, 6 River is developing next-gen mobile robot fulfilment solutions for distribution centers.
  • SkySquirrel Technologies got $1 million in seed funding. The Halifax Nova Scotia startup is focusing on agricultural crop analytics.
  • nuTonomy, a spin out from MIT with offices in Singapore and Cambridge, received $3.6 million in seed funding in January for the development of autonomous vehicle technology to be initially tested in urban driving situations such as encountered by taxis.
  • Restoration Robotics, the robotic hair transplant company, got $4.82 million equity funding in January says Octa Finance, a Belize-based news company after researching Restoration’s SEC filed Form D. CB Insights reported $7 million. So maybe there were other investors that will show up on later Form Ds.
  • Airware, the San Francisco UAS autopilot maker, got $30 million in a round that included former Cisco CEO John Chambers as an investor. Chambers will join the Airware board of directors.
  • Aarav Unmanned Systems, a spinoff from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, received an unknown amount to enable the company to focus on GIS survey, precision agricultural and industrial inspections using UAS.
  • Aurora Flight Sciences, a Virginia-based developer of UAS tech for defense as well as commercial customers, has raised an undisclosed amount from Enlightenment Capital, a Chevy Chase, MD investor in aerospace companies. Earlier this month Aurora was awarded an $89 million contract for a vertical takeoff and landing X-plane for the DoD.

March acquisitions:

  • ThermoFisher Scientific is acquiring Affymetrix for $1.3 billion. Adding Affymetrix’s products will help ThermoFisher expand its array of lab equipment and robots into biosciences and genetic analysis workflows.
  • General Motors acquired Cruise Automation, a startup that develops autopilot systems for existing cars, for an undisclosed sum but, according to Fortune magazine, a figure “north of $1 billion.”
  • Pasco Scientific, a provider of educational robots, acquired Ergopedia, the maker of the ErgoBot educational bot, for an undisclosed amount.
  • PCS Edventures, a provider of STEM, robotic and UAS educational tools and programs, acquired the assets, IP and inventory of Thrust UAV, an Idaho startup, for $109,000. Shortly thereafter Thrust, a service provider with a racing drone, announced an $825,000 contract to provide their drones to a reseller.

IPOs and failures:

  • None


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Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





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