Rapid Robotics, an automation startup based in San Francisco, has announced the closing of a $36.7 million Series B funding round, which will allow it to continue developing its out-of-the-box automation solutions.
The funding round was co-led by Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global, counting with the participation of existing investors like NEA, Greycroft, Bee Partners, and 468 Capital. The round brings the total funding raised by the startup since being founded in 2019 to $54.2 million. Griffin Schroeder, a Partner at Tiger Global, referred to the firm’s participation in the round by stating:
“Until now, only the largest facilities could benefit from robotic automation. But most manufacturing in America is done in smaller factories, which have been deeply challenged by the machine operator shortage. For them, the Rapid Machine Operator provides the additional support they need to thrive.”
Rapid Robotics is the creator of the first ready-to-work robotic machine operator, the Rapid Machine Operator (RMO). This robot is a more cost-efficient solution for machine-tending tasks, offering higher performance, ease of enablement, and flexibility on which tasks it can perform without retraining. The robot can easily be rented for less than $2100 per month using Rapid’s OpEx-friendly subscription models, allowing small manufacturers to implement automation at accessible costs.
With the economic effects of the Covid19 pandemic still raging, a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute suggests that less than 63% of jobs lost as a result have been regained until now. This is despite the manufacturing industry showing an unseen number of job openings to compensate. Robotics Midwest GM Aaron Halonen referred to the effects of this scenario by stating:
“Factories around here are in a tough spot. Without a way to work their machines, they can’t bid on jobs. No bidding means no business. No business means no revenue, obviously. But it also means no hiring or upskilling in other positions. It has a ripple effect on the entire economy.”
The solution offered by the automation startup has proven a reliable way for manufacturers to increase their ROI since day one while also facilitating the manufacturing of parts they would need to import, allowing the industry to recover at a faster pace.