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Recap: 2016 funding and acquisition updates

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28 February 2017



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Although the original articles (2016 was best year ever for funding robotics startup companies) and (Over $19 billion paid to acquire 50 robotic companies) have been updated to reflect the omissions of 2016 fundings and acquisitions, listed below is a recap of those updated transactions.

Fundings:

  • $100 million for China-based RooBo – A China-based service robot maker for home and personal use, raised $100 million from iFlyTek, a Chinese software firm with which it formed a strategic partnership that will see ROOBO integrate iFlyTek’s intelligent speech and language recognition technology into ROOBO’s robots. ROOBO also manufactures an intelligent drone, a VR headset and smart bone conduction headphones. ROOBO’s team has 300 employees and 7 offices worldwide.
  • $50 million for Israeli Roboteam – An Israeli manufacturer of unmanned ground vehicles for the military secured a $50 million Series B funding from Calcalist and The Marker, both Singaporean investment funds.
  • $9.5 million for Matternet – A startup providing load-carrying unmanned aerial systems for on-demand aerial logistics, raised $9.48 million in a seed round by Daimler and the Wei Fund.
  • $2 million for area17 – A SRI spin-off located in Silicon Valley, raised $2 million in seed funding from Morado Venture Partners and Red Dog Capital. Area17 is developing a collision avoidance autonomous navigation system for mobile and aerial robots.
  • $1.8 million for xCraft – An Idaho-based UAV startup with a VTOL capable of vertical takeoff and landing, raised $1.8 million seed round from angel investors including Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John and Lori Greiner.
  • $1.5 million for ReActive Robotics GmbH – A German rehab robotics startup, closed a Series A round of “seven digits” (in Euros) from which we approximated $1.5 million. Investors included MTIP MedTech Innovation Partners, Bayern Kapital, High-Tech Gruenderfonds and The TQ Group.
  • $800k for Ascent Robotics – A Tokyo startup developing multi-task AI agents for robotic systems, raised $800k in seed funding.
  • Also Cafe X Technologies, Fellow Robots and Simbe Robotics received undisclosed amounts.

Acquisitions:

  • Regarding the acquisition of Liquid Robotics by Boeing, at the time it didn’t have any financial details, but a flurry of leaks and rumors suggest that Boeing paid $300 million for LR. Both companies won’t comment.
  • Redbird, a French drone-powered analytics provider for construction and mining companies, sold to American Airware for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition allows Airware to concentrate on the insurance vertical where it helps State Farm and other customers with inspecting roofs, residential claims management, and commercial underwriting.
  • Erle Robotics, a Spanish startup making components for robots and drones, was acquired by Swiss Acutronic Group, a maker of multiple axes motion simulators, for an undisclosed amount.


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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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