The Robots Are Coming: Funding and Spending Doubling


CB Insights:

Funding to private robotics companies nearly doubled in 2015, reaching a record high in deals and dollars… Our robotics category excludes drones, but includes robotics companies focused on process and manufacturing automation, agricultural automation, surgical applications, and personal/social robots. Together, the companies have raised more than $1.4B in cumulative funding since 2011.

The highest funded round in 2015 was a $150M growth equity round raised by Auris Surgical Robotics, which is backed by investors including Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management and NaviMed Capital.

Except for a 2013 slowdown in the rate of growth, robotics deals have been nearly doubling year-over-year.

Hizook (including drones):

2015 was an insane year for robotics companies; they raised $922.7M in VC funding — 170% more than in 2014. I’m almost certain that it exceeds $1 Billion, especially if you account for funding events in Asia (opaque to me) or if you take into account companies at the periphery of robotics (sensing, software, 3D printing, etc). Similar to previous years, a large portion of the funding went to medical companies and drone companies, but we also saw a lot of late-stage consumer robot financings this year (such as Jibo and Sphero) — but comparatively few agricultural or service robots. Still, I think it’s safe to say: 2015 was the year of the robotics startup!

[Funding in $Million]

Auris Surgical  $150   Drone Deploy $9  DJI $75  Wonder Workshop $6.9

3D Robotics  $64   Bionik Labs $6.2   Aeryon Labs $60

Squadrone Systems $5  Yuneec Electric $60  PetNet $4

Jibo  $52.3  Sky Futures  $3.8  Sphero $45   Gamma2 Robotics  $3.5

Zymergen  $44  RightHand Robotics  $3.3  EHANG  $42.0

Osaro  $3.3  Rethink Robotics  $40  Naio Technologies $3.3

GreyOrange Robotics  $30  Soft Robotics  $3  Medrobotics $25

RoboCV  $3  Xenex  $25  SkySpecs  $3

CyPhy Works  $22  Rapyuta Robotics $3  Fetch Robotics  $20

Harvest Automation $2.9  Blue River Tech.  $17  SynTouch $2.5

Peloton Technology $17  Flyability  $2.5  Lily Robotics $14

Dronomy $1.5  Cruise $12.5  Catalia Health  $1.5

Zimplistic $11.5  Mobile Indust. Robots  $1.4  Clearpath Robotics $11.2

Dash Robotics  $1.4 Virtual Incision Tech  $11.2


International Data Corporation (IDC) has identified robotics as one of six Innovation Accelerators that will drive digital transformation by opening new revenue streams and changing the way work is performed. In the new Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, IDC forecasts global spending on robotics and related services to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% from more than $71 billion in 2015 to $135.4 billion in 2019. The new spending guide measures purchases of robotic systems, system hardware, software, robotics-related services, and after-market robotics hardware on a regional level across thirteen key industries and fifty-two use cases. …

Not surprisingly, worldwide robotics spending is dominated by the discrete and process manufacturing industries, which represented 33.2% and 30.2% of total spending in 2015, respectively. Resource, healthcare, and the transportation industries are the next three largest commercial industries in terms of overall robotics spending. Process manufacturing and healthcare are two of the fastest growing industries, with worldwide spending in each forecast to nearly double by 2019.

From a technology perspective, worldwide spending on robotics systems, which includes consumer, industrial, and service robots, is forecast to grow to nearly $32 billion in 2019. However, services-related spending, which encompasses applications management, education & training, hardware deployment, systems integration, and consulting, will grow to more than $32 billion in 2019, overtaking robotics systems and becoming both the largest and fastest-growing category of spending by the end of the forecast. Total spending on system hardware (servers and storage) and software (command & control, network infrastructure, and robotics-specific applications) will grow nearly as fast as services spending.

The Asia/Pacific region including Japan accounts for more than 65% of total robotics spending throughout the forecast. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is the second largest region with expenditures of $14.6 billion in 2015, followed by the Americas with 2015 spending totals of $9.7 billion. Robotics spending will nearly double in Asia/Pacific over the 2015-2019 forecast period, making it the fastest growing region followed by the Americas.