SoftBank Group Corporation has become a participant in the financing round of a company that manufactures robots.
As part of this fundraising round, which belongs to category B, Telexistance, a Tokyo-based firm, received an investment of $170 million. The company specializes in the production of robots. The founder of the firm, Masayoshi Son, announced his intention to step up work.
In addition to SoftBank Group, a fund created by Hon Hai Precision Industry and CTC Financial Holding, Globis Capital Partners and earlier investors also participated in the financing round. Masayoshi Son said that the funds received will be used to implement efforts to establish activities in the United States. The company also intends to spend part of the financing on increasing the number of employees.
Telexistance robotic manipulators are used to assist in the placement of shelves. These devices are applied in 300 stores FamilyMart in Japan. The company plans to expand the scope of its activities so that its robots can solve more complex tasks. An increase in the number of features in terms of the functionality of devices is likely to attract new customers.
SoftBank Group has already tried to interact with the field of robotics, but all attempts to make efforts in this direction have been unsuccessful. The corporation invested in the humanoid robot Pepper project, but its production was stopped. SoftBank Group also sent financial resources in the amount of $ 375 million to support the startup Robot Pizza Zume, but this activity did not bring any results.
A Japanese investor bought Boston Dynamics from Google in 2017. The corporation sought to bring two- and four-legged startup’s machines to the market. Hopes for the project, which has signs of promise, were not justified. The history of interaction with the startup ended with the investor handing over control of this business to Hyundai Motor. Interaction with a Japanese robot manufacturer is another attempt for the corporation to gain positions in this field. After a while, it will become known whether this effort will have a positive result.
Telexistance announced the imminent start of strategic cooperation with SoftBank Robotics Group, a subsidiary of the corporation. For the startup, this partnership is an opportunity to implement plans for the commercialization of robots in North America. The company already cooperates with American technology giants, including Microsoft and Nvidia. Cloud technologies and artificial intelligence technologies of partners helped the startup to develop robotic’s arms.
SoftBank Robotics and Globis will get seats on the board of directors of the robot manufacturing company, which turns six this year.
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