Funding to private robotics companies nearly doubled in 2015, reaching a record high in deals and dollars. Already, in 2016 (till March 21), close to 15 companies, including Restoration Robotics, Savioke and 5D Robotics, have raised an aggregate of $89 Million.
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The 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 $1.4 Billion in cumulative funding since 2011
GLOBAL FINANCING HISTORY
Deals in robotics went from 45 in 2014 to 83 in 2015. The investment growth rate during this period was 115%, compared to 55% the previous year. The highest funded round in 2015 was $150 million raised by California based Auris Surgical Robotics, from Lux Capital, Peter Thiel backed Mithril Capital Management and NaviMed Capital
Auris Surgical Robotics: Said in 2013 it was developing a microsurgical robot for eye surgery, particularly cataract removal
Anki: Program that makes remembering easy
Restoration Robotics: Transforming hair restoration with precision robotics
Medrobotics: Develops robotic surgical products, including a platform that provides surgeons access and visuals to hard-to-reach anatomical locations
Rethink Robotics: Developing robots with common sense to increase productivity and efficiency in manufacturing environments
QUARTERLY FINANCING HISTORY
The second quarter of 2015 saw the peak in deal count. Over 20 companies in seven countries raised financing. That quarter, Beijing-based Ninebot raised $80 million, backed by Xiaomi and Sequoia Capital China. Ninebot focuses on smart short-transportation products, and acquired rival Segway last year. The third quarter of 2015 saw an all-time high in funding, driven by the Auris deal. Funding dropped almost 74% in the last quarter of 2015 (compared to Q3), though deal activity remained nearly the same. In Q1 2016, funding has recovered from the slowdown, but the numbers are still not equal to the levels seen in the first three quarters of 2015.