Self-driving funding in recent weeks has moved beyond companies making autonomous cars, with investments in self-driving trucking, safety systems, and even snow removal. In addition, we saw continued growth in funding for food and beverage preparation space.
Today, we’re highlighting about 25 investments transactions from recent weeks, but you can always track more investments in the RBR Transactions Database. Our regularly updated database lets you sort deals by company, industry, technology, or transaction type. If you’re an RBR Insider, don’t forget to check out the Q2 Transactions Report, which showcases and analyzes major investment trends for the past three months. It’s free for subscribers to the Insider program.
Despite Uber’s exit, self-driving funding keeps on truckin’
While Uber may have left the autonomous trucking space, other companies are filling in the gap. This week, Kodiak Robotics announced raising $40 million in self-driving funding. The company said it will use the investment to hire employees and expand product development.
Last month, Swedish firm Einride announced $3.8 million in self-driving funding for its own autonomous trucks.
In related automotive news, Ample this week announced $31 million in funding for its speedy electric vehicle recharging system. As ride-hailing companies turn to both electric vehicles and self-driving systems, fast recharging of these vehicles will likely be required.
Ample said it has invented a platform that can deliver a full charge to any electric car in minutes.
“An alternative to traditional charging, Ample uses autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology, making it feasible for anyone to own an electric car regardless of driving needs, economic means, or geographic location,” the company said in its announcement.
Getting vehicles to remain safe while on the road is still a big issue. Perceptive Automata is working on software that it says can predict pedestrian behavior. Last month, the company raised $3 million for expansion of its platform.
Then there’s Oregon-based Azevtec, a mysterious, stealthy startup that raised $8 million to develop zero-emissions vehicle systems for autonomous vehicles. There’s not many more details, but GeekWire has the report if you’re interested in learning more.
SnowBot ready to autonomously remove snow
We’re still in the middle of summer in North America, but it’s never too early to start thinking about snow removal. This week, Colorado-based Left Hand Robotics announced $3.7 million in funding for its commercial self-driving snow removal system, the SnowBot Pro.
The company said its robotic snowplow can “complete the work of 14 shovelers in the same amount of time.” Left Hand Robotics said it expects to begin delivery of ordered SnowBot Pro systems by late 2018.
Food robotics sees spark of interest
Root AI emerged from stealth this week, announcing its new indoor farming robot system that can help pick tomatoes from the vine. In addition, the company announced raising $2.3 million in funding for the agricultural startup.
While nothing has been made official, reports this week indicated that SoftBank Group was interested in investing up to $750 million in Zume Pizza for further development and expansion of its pizza-making robot and delivery system.
Moving from tomatoes and pizza to coffee, Crunchbase News reported this week that CafeX was looking to raise up to $12 million for its robotic coffee systems.
Wrapping up the rest
The week saw some other transactions beyond self-driving funding, highlighted here:
- AI announced $3 million in seed funding for development of its industrial cobot operating system.
- Digital Alloys announced $12.9 million in Series B funding for further development of its 3D metal-printing system.
- Israeli firm DiA Imaging Analysis announced $5 million in funding for its AI-based medical imaging analysis system. Another medical imaging firm, Epica International, raised $12.2 million last month for its CT imaging and robotics system.
Catching up, moving around the world
We also had a chance to catch up on tracking other transactions from this week and last month around the globe.
China investment in AI and robotics remained strong over recent weeks, including these investments:
- Best Logistics Invests in China’s KUBO
- Chinese Firm Tianxiang Aviation Raises Funding
- Everest Capital Invests in Chinese Firm Eagle Drive
- Chinese AI Startup Suiyuan Earns Funding for AI Chip Development
- Chinese Firm TMiRob Earns $30M from GP Capital
- China’s Jrobot Earns Seed Funding from Jinpin Tezhuang Technology
- China’s Sublue Ocean Receives Investment from Vstar Capital
- DeepMap Raises $60M from Chinese Firms for Mapping Technology
- China’s Ling Technology Raises $22.6M in Pre-A Funding Round
- Mantis Vision had a busy month in July. First, it announced $55 million in funding for its 3D scanning and computer vision platform. Then it announced acquiring Utah-based Alces at the end of the month.
- Rapyuta Robotics last month announced raising $9.5 million for its cloud robotics platform, which can centrally manage a company’s robots in factories.
- LG Electronics last month announced acquiring Korea’s Robostar.
- Mitsubishi Electric announced acquiring Swiss firm ASTES4 for its automated sorting and sheet metal laser processing machines.
That concludes this week’s roundup and trip around the world. I hope you enjoyed the trip. See you next week!