Elementary Robotics Raises $12.7M with a Mission to Automate Your Boring Daily Tasks
Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks. Follow him on Twitter.
Elementary Robotics, one of Los Angeles' top robotics startups, announced Tuesday it has raised $12.7 million in Series A funding to continue developing and deploying its automation products at scale.
Co-founded in 2017 by Bill Gross of Idealab and Arye Barnehama, a Pomona College dropout and former head of design at Daqri, the company says its mission is to assist people by "automating day-to-day repetitive tasks" but it adds cryptically on its website: "We can't detail too much about the technology because we're still in stealth mode."
"I'm extremely excited to go public with what we're building, continue to support more companies with their quality and traceability needs, and grow the Elementary team to expand and deploy our innovative platform," said Barnehama.
In 2018, Gross described to TechCrunch why he was bullish on the company. "Up until now, robotic actuation was mostly about super rigid, super stiff, super strong, repeatable actuation, mostly for manufacturing. But with the recent advances in computer vision, machine learning, and adaptive learning, now you can have a robot that is gentler, less stiff, but MORE (sic) accurate using vision as your feedback system," Gross wrote in an e-mail. "This is a game-changer, and opens up a new frontier of lower cost, easier to program, easier to use robotics for more mainstream operations."
This latest round was led by Menlo Park's Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ), an early-stage investor in disruptive technology companies and also had participation from existing investors Fika Ventures, Fathom Capital, Ubiquity Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures.
"Elementary Robotics is one of a handful of 'new wave' intelligent automation companies contending that the application of AI and robotics will enable a novel set of functions that legacy providers are ill-equipped to address," said Mo Islam, partner at Threshold Ventures. "We were immediately impressed with Elementary's true software-first approach and its ability to deliver on it."
The valuation was not disclosed but the company last raised $13 million of funding in November at a $48 million post-money valuation, according to Pitchbook data.
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