Agility Robotics Raises $150 Million Series B Led By DCVC and Playground Global to Accelerate Blended Human-Robot Workplaces
Company Prepares To Introduce Flagship Robot To Logistics and Warehouse Environments
Agility Robotics, a creator and manufacturer of robots designed to work alongside people in logistics and warehouse environments, announced that it has raised $150 million led by DCVC and Playground Global. The Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund also joined as an investor to help spur innovation in the logistics industry. Agility’s robots provide unique value to businesses by augmenting the human workforce’s productivity, efficiency, and wellness. This capital raise will accelerate Agility’s R&D and scale its robot production.
“Unprecedented consumer and corporate demand have created an extraordinary need for robots to support people in the workplace,” said Damion Shelton, CEO of Agility Robotics. “With this investment, Agility can ramp up the delivery of robots to fill roles where there’s an unmet need.”
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“Agility is set to make a powerful impact, developing and shipping robots that are built to co-exist seamlessly in our lives,” said Bruce Leak, General Partner, Playground Global. “Since Agility’s earliest days, we’ve believed their unique technical approach stands alone in being able to deliver on the promise of practical everyday robots.”
Agility’s approach is unique, marrying expertise across design, software, and hardware to power robots that can manage practically limitless tasks as part of a blended workforce. Despite the conventional wisdom that many industry problems have been addressed by automation, most robotics technologies today are purpose-built for single tasks, making them inflexible, expensive, and quickly obsolete. As described by Agility Robotics CTO Dr. Jonathan Hurst in a recent blog post, Agility’s robots are – by contrast – built to be versatile, cost-effective, and durable helpers to people.
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“We’re deepening our investment in Agility Robotics because their robots solve the labor shortages plaguing businesses and wreaking havoc on supply chains,” said Matt Ocko, Co-Managing Partner, DCVC. “Agility’s robots are designed to free people from repetitive or unpleasant tasks, allowing them to take on the more fulfilling work they can do better than any robot.”
This capital raise will accelerate the delivery of the next generation of Agility’s robots, extending the company’s track record of execution that began with its first customer shipments in 2018. Agility’s most advanced robot will be deployed at customers’ sites later this year. As has been its practice since the company’s founding, these deployments allow Agility to iterate with real-time customer feedback and gain insights into operating environments, discover new uses for its robots, and refine their capabilities.
“The purpose of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund is to support emerging technologies through direct investments, designed to spur invention and solve for the world’s toughest problems across customer fulfillment operations, logistics, and supply chain solutions,” said Katherine Chen, Head of Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund. “Agility’s approach to designing robotics for a blended workforce is truly unique and can have a significant ripple effect for a wide range of industries, and we hope others follow suit to accelerate innovation in this way.”
Agility’s Series B round includes participation from previous investors MFV Partners, ITIC, Robotics Hub, Safar Partners, Sony Innovation Fund, and TDK Ventures. The fresh capital will allow Agility to continue expanding its operations and hiring in the U.S. The company has opened a new office in Pittsburgh, PA in addition to expanding its primary Oregon facilities and Palo Alto operations. Agility plans to double its headcount by 2024 and is actively recruiting top robotics talent spanning software and hardware.
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