The New Servant Class: 50 Startups Developing Home Robots


CB Insights:

Consumer robotics startups have bagged 25% of the global robotics deal share in the last 5 years. Around 40% of these consumer deals went to social robots like Anki, UBTECH, and Rokid. Educational robots that teach children how to code raised 7 deals each in 2014 and 2015, with deals projected to surpass that number this year at the current run rate. Over 10 deals went to service robots last year, from fewer than 5 in 2014.

  • Social: Social robots, including companion and entertainment robots for homes, have received the greatest share of consumer robotics deals. Humanoid robotics startup UBTECH joined the unicorn club this year after raising a $100M Series B round from CDH Investments, Goldstone Investment, and CITIC Securities International. China-based Turing Robot, which develops robotics operating systems, announced the launch of a companion robot for kids at the price of a smartphone. London-based Olly raised $10M last quarter from Alliance Capital Ventures and Lightning Capital. Another startup, Anki, raised $52.5M in Q2’16 from Index Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Personal drones: Intel Capital invested $60M in China-based Yuneec. You can read more about Intel, Google, Foxconn, and other corporations investing in private robotics startups here. Other personal drone startups, most of them in their early stages of funding, include xCraftUVifyOpenROV, and EHANG. Another company, 3D Robotics, which recently announced that it has exited hardware, has been excluded from the map. DJI Innovations, which also develops industrial robots, is included in this market map as it also manufactures consumer drones Mavec and Phanthom.
  • Educational: Robots that teach children to code have piqued the interest of investors in recent years. The most well-funded startup in this category is Wonder Workshop, which has raised $36M in equity funding from investors including CRV, Madrona Venture Group, and Google Ventures. Another startup, Modular Robotics, is backed by Foundry Group. Sequoia Capital China backed China-based Makeblock in a $6M Series A round in 2014.
  • Service Robots: This includes robotic arms, personal transportation robots, as well as those that perform household chores like cooking, vacuuming, bartending, and even cleaning your fishtank. So far this year, 5 companies have raised equity funds, including personal transportation robot Ninebot and desktop robotic arm Dobot.