Louisville, Colorado-based AMP Robotics raised $55 million in Series B funding for its robots that sort recyclable materials from waste streams. The Series B was led by XN with participation from new investors Valor Equity Partners and GV, as well as existing investors Sequoia Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, Congruent Ventures, and Closed Loop Partners.
AMP will use the new funding to scale its existing recycling robots and develop new applications for materials recovery facilities. The new capital raised AMP’s total funding to date to about $74.5 million. It raised a $16 million Series A in November 2019.
AMP uses computer vision and deep learning to enable its recycling robots to identify and sort recyclable materials. The pick-and-place robots can sort materials in a waste stream by color, size, shape, opacity, consumer brand, and more, storing data about each item it perceives. According to AMP, the system is constantly training itself by processing millions of images and adapting to changes in a facility’s material stream.
AMP has said its robots consistently pick 80 items per minute, which is twice as fast as humans. Its robotics system is also modular, enabling facilities managers to adapt it to existing workflows. AMP in May 2020 launched a leasing program to make its robots more accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers interest-free financing without an upfront payment, enabling waste management and recycling businesses to get the benefits of sorting automation without the capital expense. Monthly payments are fixed and can total less than $6,000 a month.
In its announcement of the Series B funding, AMP noted that more than $200 billion worth of recyclable materials goes unrecovered annually worldwide. The economics of sorting recyclable materials from a waste stream have always been a challenge, but new stricter international quality standards and worker safety guidelines as a result of COVID-19 have complicated the process.
“We are putting this next round of investment to work immediately to create novel technology for the waste industry and meaningfully contribute to reducing society’s impact on the environment,” said Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics.
AMP signed a long-term agreement with Waste Connections in late 2020 to deploy 24 robotics systems. This was AMP’s largest order to date. In 2019, AMP deployed 14 robots at Single Stream Recyclers in Sarasota, Florida, in what it said at the time was the largest global deployment in the recycling industry. The robots were installed on different sorting lines, processing plastics, cartons, fiber, metals and other materials.