Robotics

RobCo welcomes Lightspeed Venture Partners as a new investor

  • Global venture capital firm Lightspeed and additional investors inject $42.5 million into the development and expansion of the company.
  • RobCo is a facilitator for plug-and-play robot automation in SMEs today.
  • Company is on track to become Europe’s leader in autonomous and intelligent robotics.
  • The newly acquired capital will be primarily invested in further expanding distribution channels and advancing product development.

RobCo, an expert in modular, affordable, and connected robotics automation solutions for SMEs, welcomes global venture powerhouse Lightspeed Venture Partners as a new investor in a recent financing round (Series B). The company raised $42.5 million from Lightspeed and additional investors to fuel its development and growth trajectory. Former Apple and Nvidia investor Sequoia Capital, along with Kindred Capital and Promus Ventures, also participated. This round brings the total investment in RobCo to more than $60 million. The newly acquired capital will be primarily invested in further expanding distribution channels and advancing product development.

RobCo was founded in 2020 by three researchers at the Technical University of Munich’s Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Chair and specializes in the development of flexible robotic hardware kits for various applications in SME manufacturing, such as machine loading and unloading or palletizing. The kits enable a modular, intuitive assembly and adaptation of robotics applications based on the unique, vertically integrated hardware and software platform RobCo Studio. Thanks to it, the deployed robots can be configured, implemented, and managed remotely via a digital twin. The low-code approach eliminates the need for complex programming or specialized personnel. Furthermore, the platform is characterized by a modular end-to-end system equipped with all future-proof interfaces. An innovative sensor and software layer ensure the longevity of the hardware.

RobCo’s solutions cater specifically to SMEs, where machine utilization is worthwhile only if they can be quickly and flexibly reprogrammed for changing tasks. RobCo aids companies in entering the realm of automation and transitioning towards Industry 4.0.

“Through a comprehensive RobCo automation solution in the palletizing area, we can actively address the ongoing shortage of skilled workers with technology and at the same time save costs”, explains Martin Matern, plant manager at DE-VAU-GE Gesundkostwerk Deutschland GmbH in Lüneburg.

Sense, Reason, Act – Autonomous and Intelligent Automation Robotics for All Businesses

“The ongoing development of our modular robotic platform for industrial use is crucial for addressing the current and future challenges in economy and society. Today, our robots can already be set up, programmed, and managed with software and AI assistance. The next step is to make industrial robots even more autonomous and intelligent in their operational environment”, says Roman Hölzl, CEO and Co-founder of RobCo. “With our RobCo Autonomy approach, we focus on a deeper implementation of AI in our software so that robots can autonomously sense, reason, and act in their environment, planning and executing actions independently in the near future.”

“The use of robotics in the industrial setting was previously reserved almost exclusively for large corporations with the corresponding financial and human resources”, emphasizes Alex Schmitt, Partner at Lightspeed. “High costs and enormous complexity made them partly unaffordable and challenging to manage for small and medium-sized enterprises. RobCo has already made a significant breakthrough in this field with its developments. We recognize both technological and commercial potential for the German and international markets. It is crucial to optimally foster this potential and make robotic automation solutions accessible to all companies.”

“We are only at the beginning of an extensive journey in automation and aim to become a leader in modular robot automation for SMEs in Europe. RobCo is uniquely positioned with its easy-to-implement robots that offer a positive ROI from day one”, adds Roman Hölzl. “We see ourselves as an extension of companies in automating their production and supporting the transformation towards Industry 4.0. The fact that a venture capital powerhouse like Lightspeed supports our next steps with a $42.5 million financing round tells us that we are on the right path – and is an incredible motivational boost for all of us to take our solutions to the next level.”

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