Robohub.org
 

The ups (and downs) of tech, robotic and AI funding

by
13 July 2017



share this:

Source: Getty Images

SoftBank’s Pepper humanoid robot operation (a joint venture with Foxconn, Alibaba and SoftBank) has incurred a big $274 million loss while Asia more than doubled the amount of funding for tech startups thus far in 2017. No one ever said VC funding was for the faint of heart.

The Ups

According to PwC and CB Insights, venture capital investments in Asia in the first six months of 2017 totaled $28.8 billion. VC investments in North America for the same period totaled $18.4 billion.

Source: PwC | CB Insights MoneyTree™ Report Q2 2017
Read more at: https://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/asia-overtakes-us-for-the-first-time-in-vc-funding-cbinsights-77547/

CB Insights reports that 45% of all dollars invested in tech in 2017 went to Asian firms. 

Largest deals in Asia so far this year included Didi Chuxing raising $5.5 billion, One97 Communications ($1.4 billion), GO-JEK ($1.2 billion), Bytedance ($1 billion) and Ele.me ($1 billion).

Largest deals in North America in the quarter included San Francisco-based Lyft – which raised $600 million, Outcome Health ($500 million), Group Nine Media ($485 million), Houzz ($400 million), and Guardant Health ($360 million).

The number of deals around the world, as shown in the chart above, remains heavily in the West. Almost every day the news reports another fund being set up to invest in one area of tech or another. For example, Toyota Motor Corp today announced a $100 million fund (Toyota AI Ventures) for AI and robotics startups and have already made some initial investments. The first three are for a maker of cameras that monitor drivers and roads, a creator of autonomous car-mapping algorithms, and a developer of robotic companions for the elderly.

The Downs

Nikkei Asian Review reports on SoftBank Robotics’ $274 million loss which they attribute to the Pepper humanoid robot joint venture with Alibaba and Foxconn. The subsidiary was established in 2014 and began consumer sales of Pepper in June 2015 and business sales that October.

“Although the company does not release earnings, it recorded sales of 2.2 billion yen and a net loss of 11.7 billion yen in fiscal 2015, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. That is markedly worse than the 2.3 billion yen net loss from fiscal 2014. 'Pepper is unprofitable because of its relatively low price for a humanoid robot, costing just 198,000 yen ($1,750), which cannot cover development costs.'”

A SoftBank PR statement said that they will increase corporate sales and improve earnings through related businesses such as apps and content and that sales are good.




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.





Related posts :



Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by
ep.

339

podcast

High Capacity Ride Sharing, with Alex Wallar

In this episode, our interviewer Lilly speaks to Alex Wallar, co-founder and CTO of The Routing Company. Wallar shares his background in multi-robot path-planning and optimization, and his research on scheduling and routing algorithms for high-capacity ride-sharing. They discuss how The Routing Company helps cities meet the needs of their people, the technical ins and outs of their dispatcher and assignment system, and the importance of public transit to cities and their economics.
12 October 2021, by

50 women in robotics you need to know about 2021

It’s Ada Lovelace Day and once again we’re delighted to introduce you to “50 women in robotics you need to know about”! From the Afghanistan Girls Robotics Team to K.G.Engelhardt who in 1989 ...
12 October 2021, by and

Join the Women in Robotics Photo Challenge

How can women feel as if they belong in robotics if we can't see any pictures of women building or programming robots? The Civil Rights Activist Marian Wright Edelson aptly said, "You can't be what yo...
12 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association