RIOS Intelligent Machines, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) -powered robotic workcells for factory automation, recently announced that it has raised $ 28 million in Series A equity funding and debt financing. This new round of funding, together with a $ 5 million venture round announced back in 2020, raises RIOS ’total capitalization to $ 33 million.
The oversubscribed Series A round was led by new deep tech investor Main Sequence, along with new major investors Yamaha Motor Ventures, Orbit Venture Partners, Hypertherm Ventures, and strong participation from existing investors Valley Capital Partners, Morpheus Ventures, Grit Ventures, and others. Main Sequence Partner Mike Zimmerman is joining RIOS ‘board of directors, and Yamaha Motor Ventures COO & Managing Director Anish Patel has joined as a board observer.
RIOS helps enterprises automate their factory assembly lines, warehouses or supply chain operations, by deploying its AI-powered robotic workcells. Its robotic workcells are currently deployed in the United States in the manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and food & beverage sectors. RIOS adds that it pioneered the robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model for robotic workcells, and currently offers its robotic workforce through a factory automation-as-a-service agreement, in which customers have no upfront capital commitments. The company has signed agreements with over a dozen customers in the US and Japan, from mid-size businesses to large enterprises. The new capital will be used to deploy its robotic fleet at scale to both new and existing customers.
“Bedrock sectors of our economy are crippled by a labor shortage problem that Covid turned into a full-blown crisis. Today, most factories in the world are labor-intensive, and with millions of jobs unfilled, manufacturers are unable to keep up with skyrocketing consumer demand – and they are in extreme pain, ”said Dr. Bernard Casse, RIOS ‘CEO. “We have the cure to this trillion-dollar opportunity. We’re re-industrializing America with best-in-class American technology, while upskilling our American workforce in the process and enabling them to access higher-level and better-paying jobs. ”
RIOS explains that it focuses on the last frontier of automation in factories, in which traditional automation breaks down. RIOS states that it has built a new breed of robots possessing unparalleled levels of dexterity, cognitive skills and autonomy, which are geared up to tackle hard-to-automate tasks in unstructured environments. The company contends that it has engineered some of the most sophisticated hardware and software / AI platforms in the robotics space, which includes human-like tactile sensors for robots, haptics intelligence platform, and highest performance end-of-arm tooling.
“We are pleased to see the tremendous growth at RIOS since our initial investment,” said Steve O’Hara, Managing Partner at Valley Capital Partners and a board member of RIOS. “From day one we were impressed with the RIOS team and believed their data-focused and full-stack technology approach would help differentiate them quickly as the demand for automation services grew. We are excited to see how quickly their pipeline has grown, far exceeding our expectations from a robotics company at their size and stage and couldn’t be more excited to continue to partner with Bernard and his team to build a world-class technology company. ”
RIOS ‘value proposition to its customers are production-grade machines that meet throughputs and KPIs, are easy to use, have virtually zero downtime, and can be integrated within their existing workflows, the company added, while the RaaS model allows companies of all sizes to access leading automation with no capital investment.
“RIOS’ combination of RaaS business model and adaptable end-to-end robotic workcell platform is the ideal answer to the labor and supply chain challenges facing manufacturers around the globe. Main Sequence was attracted to RIOS ‘strong market traction, positive customer feedback and world-class team, ”said lead investor Mike Zimmerman. “We’re also thrilled that RIOS is strategically tapping into Australia’s ecosystem of industry experts, research institutions, and commercial companies to both commercialize innovative robotic technologies and get early access to the Australian market.”