After a really slow period of transactions in recent weeks, some investments in the robotics world have picked up of late, at least in regards to hardware companies. While artificial intelligence-based companies continue to shine, we saw several healthcare-related robotics companies making some headlines in recent weeks.
This week we’re highlighting 15 recent transactions covering the robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence space. If you’ve missed some transactions over the past few months, you can track them through the RBR Transactions Database. This regularly updated database lets you sort deals by company, industry, technology, or transaction type.
Surgical and health robots shine
We’ll start this week’s roundup in the surgical robot space, where a couple of large transactions took place. Think Surgical raised $134 million through an offering of debt, options, warrants, and other securities, according to an SEC Form D filing. The company develops the TSolution One Surgical System, a robotic system for ortopaedic surgery. The system includes a 3D pre-operative planning workstation, and a computer-assisted tool for “precise cavity and surface preparation” for hip and knee replacement surgeries.
Earlier today, surgical hair restoration company Restoration Robotics and Venus Concept Ltd. announced a merger agreement to combine the companies in an all-stock transaction, expected to close in Q3 2019. Under the terms of the transaction, Restoration Robotics and Venus Concept shareholders will own approximately 15% and 85% of the combined company, respectively, on a fully diluted basis, without giving effect to the shares issued in the proposed equity financing that is expected to close immediately after the merger, the companies said. EW Healthcare Partners said it committed to lead a $21 million equity investment, priced at $0.825 per share in the combined company’s common stock, contingent on the merger closing.
In a statement, Restoration Robotics CEO Ryan Rhodes said the transaction would “create a combined company with the resources, product portfolio and expertise that will benefit our customers, employees and our shareholders. With more than 600,000 procedures and an estimated $4 billion spent annually in the global hair restoration market, the growth opportunity for the combined entity is extremely compelling.”
Domenic Serafino, chairman and CEO of Venus Concept, said he was looking forward to leveraging the company’s direct sales force to accelerate adoption of the surgical system in the market. “Hair restoration will become an increasingly important part of our global medical aesthetics portfolio, which also includes technologies that address hair removal, skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction, cellulite and body contouring.”
Continuing our journey through the healthcare robotics space, China’s Changren Technology announced raising $14.89 million led by a Chinese state-owned enterprise, according to the China Money Network website. The company’s main product is a home medical robot called “Xiaobao,” which helps users detect health indicators, including body temperature, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, uric acid, and blood oxygen saturation through connections to other equipment. Data collected by the systems can then be transmitted to the cloud for analysis, and users then receive medical guidance including medication, diet, and exercise recommendations. The article said the new funding will be used for the experiment and registration of new products, construction of medical examination centers, and commercialization of AI products in hospitals.
Finally, we have an interesting company in the dentistry space – France’s Dental Monitoring announced raising $51 million to expand its AI-powered solutions for dentistry and orthodontics. Founded in 2015, the company has built a sophisticated AI platform that allow dental professionals to assess and monitor dental conditions, including orthodontics, in-practice or remotely. The company said it would use the new funding to accelerate development in the U.S. and Asia, and strengthen the offering for the global market of general dentists with its AI-driven systems.
Additional transactions in the robotics space
Boston-based Pickle Robot not only has a cool company name, it recently raised $3.5 million in an equity sale, according to an SEC Form D filing. The startup firm is developing a robot named Dill, which can help warehouse workers load and unload freight from feeder trucks, as well as load/unload packages from pallets, and preload goods onto last-mile delivery vans, trucks and parcel cars. Learn more here.
QinetiQ North America announced it won the U.S. Army’s competition for the Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS(I)) program, which brings a seven-year, $164.5 million contract for the delivery of small ground robots. The CRS(I) robot includes advanced sensors and mission modules for soldiers, designed to be back-packable. The robots also feature an interoperability profile to support several payloads and missions to detect, identify, and counter hazards.
Boxlight Corp., which provides interactive technology solutions for the education market, this week announced it completed its acquisition of Modern Robotics, a STEM-based company with programming and robotics solutions for the K-12 market. Modern’s MyBot helps students from pre-school to high school develop skills for programming and robotics. The system includes curriculum, STEM lessons, tutorials, and videos. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Finally, in a transaction that slipped by our tracking mechanisms, we discovered that Waltham, Mass.-based Veo Robotics has raised $15 million in funding, led by Baidu Ventures. The company has now raised more than $28 million to help develop its platform of making industrial and factory robots safer through software, computer vision and other techniques.
AI and RPA Corner: health, security and training systems
Rounding up this week’s transactions, here are all of the AI-related investments as well as one in the robotics process automation space. Click the link to read more about the investment or company. Transactions include:
- HealthJoy, which raised $12.5 million for its AI-powered health benefits platform.
- Automation Intellect, which earned undisclosed seed funding for its machine performance analytics system.
- Appen Limited, which announced plans to acquire Figure Eight for its machine learning training system.
- Vintra, which scored $4.8 million for its AI-based video analytics platform for the surveillance and security industry.
- France’s Therapixel, which raised $5.6 million for further development of its AI-based radiology diagnosis system to better detect breast cancer.
- Automation Hero, which raised $14.5 million for its process automation system.
- Determined AI, which raised $11 million for its AI deep learning platform.
That’s it for this week – Happy St. Patrick’s Day for those who celebrate on Sunday!