Mobile robot demand rises as Brain Corp raises Series D funding

The Robot Report

Brain Corp., which provides artificial intelligence technology for autonomous mobile robots, today said it has raised Series D funding of $36 million. The San Diego-based company said it plans to use the new capital to expand into applications beyond floor cleaning and to expand manufacturing and sales efforts in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

Robots for cleaning, disinfection, delivery, and assisting medical personnel have received much attention from investors and healthcare providers during the the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have always envisioned a world where robots make the lives of people safer, easier, and more productive,” stated Dr. Eugene Izhikevich, CEO of Brain Corp. “Autonomous robots are playing a vital role in supporting essential businesses and their workers during this health crisis. This investment will help us continue our pace of innovation and fuel our growth as we execute on the opportunity in front of us.”

Adding autonomy with OEMs

Working with original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners, Brain Corp said it has deployed or enabled more than 10,000 robots operating in dynamic public spaces. The company‘s partners include Tennant Co., Nilfisk, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG, Minuteman International, Dane Technologies, and UniCarriers Americas. They license Brain Corp’s BrainOS software to add autonomy to mobile systems.

Retailers significantly increased their use of robotic floor scrubbers in response to the novel coronavirus, highlighting the strong value that robotics can deliver, said Brain Corp. Autonomous usage of BrainOS-powered machines in retail locations in the U.S. spiked 13.6% in March 2020, compared with the same month last year, and 13% during Q1 of this year, according to internal network data.

In addition, BrainOS-enabled mobile robots are on track to deliver more than a quarter-million hours of work over the next 30 days, giving essential workers time back to focus on other important tasks.

Customers include several Fortune 500 brands, including Walmart and Kroger, as well as Giant Eagle, C&W Services, Simon Property Group, and dozens of other grocers, retailers, airports, educational institutions, and others.

Brain Corp expects to expand to new markets

The round was led by returning investor SoftBank Vision Fund 1, and includes new investors ClearBridge Investments LLC and Satwik Ventures, and an additional investment from Qualcomm Ventures LLC.

Brain Corp said the new funds will be used to further expand its growth into new robotics and AI applications beyond floor care, including inventory delivery, shelf analytics, hospitality, and other applications that improve employee productivity, reduce costs, and enhance customer experiences.

The capital will also be used to support the manufacturing and sales efforts of OEM partners in new markets, such as those in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

“Brain Corp exemplifies the innovative, market leading businesses we seek as partners,” said Aram Green, managing director of ClearBridge Investments. “World events have brought the value of automation sharply into focus, and we see Brain Corp playing an integral role as market adoption for robotics accelerates.”

BofA Securities acted as placement agent for the company.

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Source: therobotreport

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