Elementary Robotics Raises $12.7M with a Mission to Automate Your Boring Daily Tasks

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.

Related Articles Around the Web

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Fred Turner, the 25-year-old founder of Curative Inc., is the man behind L.A.'s push to bring universal testing to the region. But, he has bigger plans.

Turner, an Oxford dropout, just landed a deal with the Air Force to test military worldwide and he's now eyeing national expansion for his startup. By the end of this month, the company he started months ago is expected to pump out more than a million test kits a week.

"We are a strange company because our goal is to essentially put ourselves out of business," Turner said.

Read more Show less

Last Friday morning, 406 Bird employees – who had been working from home for two weeks because of the coronavirus and bleary-eyed from putting in longer than usual days in an unprecedented effort to rapidly wind down global operations in cities around the world – received a generic-sounding Zoom webinar invitation titled "COVID-19 Update."

Travis VanderZanden, 41, a former top Uber executive who founded Bird only three years ago, had abruptly cancelled the previous Thursday's regular biweekly all-hands meeting, referred to internally as Birdfams. He had not addressed Bird's thousand-plus employees since they were forced to leave their offices, so most employees assumed he was giving an update on the company's response to the worsening global pandemic.

But some grew suspicious when they noticed the guest list and host were hidden and they learned only some colleagues were included. It was also unusual they were being invited to a Zoom webinar, allowing no participation, rather than the free-flowing meeting function the company normally uses. Over the next hour, employees traded frantic messages on Slack and searched coworkers' calendars to see who was unfortunate enough to be invited.

"It should go down as a poster child of how not to lay people off, especially at a time like this," said one employee.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

Trending