August 26, 2021
By Jane Lanhee Lee
(Reuters) – Silicon Valley has a new pitch for small U.S. manufacturers struggling with hiring workers but wary of the high costs of high tech: rent-a-robot. Much of the initial risk and cost are taken on by the robot companies.
Here are some rent-a-robot startups and the investors backing them. (Source: PitchBook and the companies)
-Producer of autonomous mobile robots for warehouses.
-Raised $150 million in February in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management and BOND Capital
-Other investors include Prologis Ventures, Zebra Ventures, Scale Venture Partners
-Manufacturer of autonomous welding robots
-Raised $100 million in July in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management.
-Other investors include Addition, SVB Capital, Basic Set Ventures, Comeback Capital, Creative Ventures, Drive Capital, Eudaimonia Capital, Lemnos, Xplorer Capital
-Machine-operating robots offered as low as $2,100 a month
-Raised $36.7 million in August in funding round led by Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global Management
-Other investors include New Enterprise Associates, 468 Capital, Bee Partners, Draft Ventures, Greycroft
-Maker of self-driving robots for warehouses and factories
-Previously backed by SoftBank, the startup was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Zebra Technologies Corp.
-An artificial intelligence startup that is using AI to power machine arms in factories and started its subscription model in 2019
-Investors include Pegasus Tech Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment, ABB Technology Ventures, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg.
-A startup offering “robots by the hour,” which charges only for the time the robot is working. Handles setup and maintenance.
-Investors include Initialized Capital, Lux Capital, Correlation Ventures, Chapter One, and Lorimer Ventures.
(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Matthew Lewis)