Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) provider Covariant will accelerate its research and development (R&D) efforts and add employees globally after raising $80 million in a venture capital round, the company said today.
Berkeley, California-based Covariant said the “series C” round was led by returning investor Index Ventures, with additional participation by Amplify Partners and Radical Ventures, as well as Temasek and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). The move brings Covariant’s total capitalization to $147 million, following its 2020 venture round of $40 million.
“Autonomous order picking has long been seen as the holy grail for warehouse automation in the robotics world. It’s a very hard problem, but thanks to our team’s fundamental advances in research and engineering, we’ve achieved production-grade autonomy for a range of industries over the past year,” Pieter Abbeel, Covariant's president, chief scientist, and co-founder, said in a release. “We are at a point where modern AI is opening up a whole new generation of robotic applications. Warehouses and distribution centers are where this transition is happening first, but I also see it as a sign of things to come elsewhere, for example, in the manufacturing, agriculture, and food industries.”
The company has deployed its “Covariant Brain” platform for robotic manipulation across a range of industries including fashion, health and beauty, industrial supply, pharmaceutical, grocery, parcel, and general merchandise.
According to the firm’s investors, that growth is on track to accelerate in coming years. “With Covariant rolling out multiple applications in warehouses across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific over the last year, it’s the first time that AI Robotics has been successful at this scale with such variability,” Mike Volpi of Index Ventures said in a release. “Covariant consistently outperforms the competition in tests by prospective clients to benchmark autonomy in real world operations. While the company is proving the value of AI robotics in the supply chain, we predict Covariant AI will expand far beyond the realm of warehouses.”
Thrilled to announce our $80M Series C led by @IndexVentures along with the participation of @AmplifyPartners, @RadicalVCFund, @Temasek, and @CPPInvestments.— Covariant (@CovariantAI) July 27, 2021
Read more here: https://t.co/W6MUuvpssN#AIRobotics