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Lightspeed Invests in RobCo’s Growth Journey Towards SME Robotics Automation Leadership

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Lightspeed Invests in RobCo’s Growth Journey Towards SME Robotics Automation Leadership

Insider Brief

  • RobCo, specializing in robotics automation for SMEs, secures $42.5 million in Series B funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, bringing total investment to over $60 million for global team expansion and product development.
  • The company’s modular robotic hardware kits, designed for a variety of manufacturing tasks, offer a low-code, flexible solution that can be managed remotely, aiming to help SMEs transition towards Industry 4.0 efficiently.
  • RobCo’s unique approach integrates AI for autonomous operation, making robotic automation more accessible to SMEs previously hindered by cost and complexity, with the ambition to become a European leader in modular robot automation.

PRESS RELEASE — Munich/February 26, 2024 — RobCo, an expert in modular, affordable, and connected robotics automation solutions for SMEs, welcomes global venture powerhouse Lightspeed Venture Partners as a new investor in a recent financing round (Series B). The company raised $42.5 million from Lightspeed and additional investors to fuel its development and growth trajectory. Former Apple and Nvidia investor Sequoia Capital, along with Kindred Capital and Promus Ventures, also participated. This round brings the total investment in RobCo to more than $60 million. The newly acquired capital will be primarily invested in further expanding distribution channels and advancing product development.

RobCo was founded in 2020 by three researchers at the Technical University of Munich’s Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Chair and specializes in the development of flexible robotic hardware kits for various applications in SME manufacturing, such as machine loading and unloading or palletizing. The kits enable a modular, intuitive assembly and adaptation of robotics applications based on the unique, vertically integrated hardware and software platform RobCo Studio. Thanks to it, the deployed robots can be configured, implemented, and managed remotely via a digital twin. The low-code approach eliminates the need for complex programming or specialized personnel. Furthermore, the platform is characterized by a modular end-to-end system equipped with all future-proof interfaces. An innovative sensor and software layer ensure the longevity of the hardware.

RobCo’s solutions cater specifically to SMEs, where machine utilization is worthwhile only if they can be quickly and flexibly reprogrammed for changing tasks. RobCo aids companies in entering the realm of automation and transitioning towards Industry 4.0.

“Through a comprehensive RobCo automation solution in the palletizing area, we can actively address the ongoing shortage of skilled workers with technology and at the same time save costs”, explains Martin Matern, plant manager at DE-VAU-GE Gesundkostwerk Deutschland GmbH in Lüneburg.

Sense, Reason, Act — Autonomous and Intelligent Automation Robotics for All Businesses

“The ongoing development of our modular robotic platform for industrial use is crucial for addressing the current and future challenges in economy and society. Today, our robots can already be set up, programmed, and managed with software and AI assistance. The next step is to make industrial robots even more autonomous and intelligent in their operational environment”, says Roman Hölzl, CEO and Co-founder of RobCo. “With our RobCo Autonomy approach, we focus on a deeper implementation of AI in our software so that robots can autonomously sense, reason, and act in their environment, planning and executing actions independently in the near future.”

“The use of robotics in the industrial setting was previously reserved almost exclusively for large corporations with the corresponding financial and human resources”, emphasizes Alex Schmitt, Partner at Lightspeed. “High costs and enormous complexity made them partly unaffordable and challenging to manage for small and medium-sized enterprises. RobCo has already made a significant breakthrough in this field with its developments. We recognize both technological and commercial potential for the German and international markets. It is crucial to optimally foster this potential and make robotic automation solutions accessible to all companies.”

“We are only at the beginning of an extensive journey in automation and aim to become a leader in modular robot automation for SMEs in Europe. RobCo is uniquely positioned with its easy-to-implement robots that offer a positive ROI from day one”, adds Roman Hölzl. “We see ourselves as an extension of companies in automating their production and supporting the transformation towards Industry 4.0. The fact that a venture capital powerhouse like Lightspeed supports our next steps with a $42.5 million financing round tells us that we are on the right path — and is an incredible motivational boost for all of us to take our solutions to the next level.”

About RobCo

Established in 2020 by a team led by Roman Hölzl at the Chair of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich, RobCo GmbH offers adaptable, affordable, and connected robotics solutions tailored for industrial SMEs to automate repetitive manual tasks. These solutions leverage a patented modular hardware kit and the RobCo Studio software platform. Whether it’s machine loading, palletizing, dispensing, or welding, RobCo’s modular robot kits offer versatility and intuitive operation. Thanks to the unique software, deployed robots can be configured, implemented, and managed remotely via a digital twin, facilitating quick and seamless plug-and-play functionality without the need for intricate programming, specialized expertise, or dedicated personnel. With a current workforce of over 50 employees at the Munich headquarters, RobCo is dedicated to assisting its clients in reimagining automation and addressing critical challenges such as skilled labor shortages, production scalability, and the transition to Industry 4.0.

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About Lightspeed

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise, Consumer, Health, and Fintech sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 500 companies globally including Affirm, Carta, Cato Networks, Epic Games, Faire, Forty Seven, Guardant Health, Mulesoft, Navan, Netskope, Nutanix, Rubrik, Sharechat, Snap, Udaan, Ultima Genomics and more. Lightspeed and its global team currently manage $25B in AUM across the Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in the U.S., Europe, India, Israel, Southeast Asia.

RobCo Contact:

Tobias Motzet
Marcel-Breuer-Str. 15
80807 Munich

E-Mail: [email protected]

Press Contact:

Alisa Hese
Landwehrstraße 61
80336 Munich

E-Mail: [email protected]