Month: October 2020

MFV Partners’ new investment – Agility Robotics

Today, we welcome our newest addition to MFV Partners’ portfolio – a bipedal, humanoid Robotics company, Agility Robotics. We are delighted to join DCVC, Playground Global, TDK Ventures and others in the company’s $20M financing round. And this marks our second investment in Robotics.

Robotics has been around for decades – but it has found its footing in the last few years and has been growing rapidly. Advances in computer vision, navigation, AI and sensors have made Robots smarter and able to handle long, complex tasks. Smartphones have driven down the cost of computing, connectivity and other components making today’s Robots an order of magnitude cheaper compared to the ones from few years ago. Robots are finding use across construction, manufacturing, transportation, logistics …

Most of the robots we see today are made for purpose-built environments with little to no human interaction. Factories, warehouses and assembly lines are built from scratch or modified to fit Robots. When we were talking to Robotics startups, it became clear that there is a huge need for Robots that can work in existing, unstructured environments and can work alongside humans.

Enter Agility Robotics. When Andrew Maywah of TDK ventures introduced us to Damion and Jonathan, we went in with a lot of skepticism. In the past decade, we had seen demos and prototypes of bipedal robots – they all have crashed and burned; and none of those efforts turned into a commercial grade product that can be deployed in a factory or a warehouse. In our first meeting with Agility, we came away hugely impressed with the depth of the team and the maturity of the product. Few things became very clear:

  • The company has moved way beyond demos and prototypes; the product has evolved to commercial grade quality and can be deployed across various use cases. They were shipping Robots for a year.
  • Bipedal humanoid Robot has been Jonathan and his team’s area of research and focus for more than a decade and the team had amassed unmatched knowledge and expertise in the space.
  • Damion and Jonathan are thoughtful, grounded and focused leaders and are driven to build a long term successful company.

Agility’s technology is fundamentally different from the wheeled Robots in the market. Digit, Agility’s first Robot, mimics the biokinetic mechanics of animals and humans to walk and move. That provides significant flexibility to adapt and work in different terrains without understanding the terrain in millimeter level detail like other Robots try to do. Digit can work in unstructured environments, can perform a wide variety of complex functions and interact in a human filled environment. As we conducted diligence on product, technology and customers, we became convinced that Agility is building something fundamentally different and potentially, category defining.

Agility Robotics – Road Ahead!

We are excited to be working along with Matt Ocko and DCVC team, Bruce Leak and Playground team in addition to TDK Ventures and other investor partners. Agility’s Robots will be deployed across many customers and use cases over the next few years and we are excited to be part of their journey and to help them succeed!

Welcome to MFV Portfolio, Agility Robotics!

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