Yesterday, Amazon announced that Agility Robotics is likely one of the 5 preliminary startups benefitting from the corporate’s $1 billion innovation fund. If I needed to guess, I’d say that meant the retail large was eyeing the Oregon State College spinoff as a possible addition to its warehouse robotics arsenal. In spite of everything, logistics has turn into an more and more import piece of Agility’s go to market technique for its bipedal Digit robotic, whereas Amazon’s lots of of 1000’s of robots are an enormous a part of the way it manages to show round bundle deliveries so shortly.
This morning, nonetheless, the corporate raised a large $150 million Series B, together with funds from the aforementioned Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund. This day out, nonetheless, it was DCVC and Playground World main the best way for the funding.
“Agility is ready to make a robust impression, growing and delivery robots which are constructed to co-exist seamlessly in our lives,” Playgound’s Bruce Leak mentioned in a launch. “Since Agility’s earliest days, we’ve believed their distinctive technical method stands alone in with the ability to ship on the promise of sensible on a regular basis robots.”
Born out of bipedal locomotion work on a analysis robotic named Cassie, Agility has continued to impress buyers alongside the best way, together with names just like the Sony Innovation Fund. Ford additionally famously introduced plans to make the most of Digit as a part of a last-mile supply technique, although Agility’s newer focus has shifted to unpacking vans and shifting bins round warehouses — a necessity that has solely accelerated throughout the pandemic.
“Unprecedented shopper and company demand have created a unprecedented want for robots to help folks within the office,” says CEO Damion Shelton. “With this funding, Agility can ramp up the supply of robots to fill roles the place there’s an unmet want.”
The spherical brings Agility’s funding to $180 million thus far. That features a $20.25 million Collection A and an $8 million seed two years prior. That is, after all, the big spherical by a large margin. In a recent conversation I had with Leak and Agility CTO Jonathan Hurst, each events identified how a lot the robotics startup has been in a position to accomplish with a small staff and tight margins, delivering Cassie to prospects manner again in 2018.
This huge elevate will go towards increasing its operations significantly because it scales to market. Along with its Oregon and Bay Space workplaces, it has opened operations in Pittsburgh — little doubt with plans to attract on CMU and the town’s historical past in robotics and autonomy. All advised, Agility is planning to double its headcount by 2024.