It takes a ton of money to create, nurture, evolve, productize, and bring a successful new technology to market. All too often new ventures have fantastic ideas or great technology, but fail to grab the attention of investors with the capital that they desperately need to stay alive long enough to evolve into a viable business.
Aldebaran Robotics, the creator of the NAO humanoid robot, has achieved a lot in the past five short years. The robots performance is definitely world class in the area of robotics it was targeted for. It's already proven the potential of the company's design and vision, but it's still quite a way from being self sustaining.
However, the Aldebaran management team hasn't let that limit their long term vision and passion. Today they announced successful series C round of financing amounting to USD$13 million. It's a major vote of confidence on the part of Aldebaran's investors, as well as a significant additional responsibility for the company's leaders as they pursue making their dream a reality.
According to the official Aldebaran Robotics press release, the new venture funding comes primarily from Intel Capital along with additional funds supplied by the company's existing investors, CDC, Innovation, iSOURCE and CAPE.
So far the NAO robot has demonstrated its utility in a wide range of applications including entertainment, research, health care, and assistance to autistic children, in addition to becoming the specified choice for the RoboCup robot soccer standard platform category.
Going forward, the company plans to put the new funding to good use as it expands into other vertical application sectors along with improving its manufacturing processes and beefing up its already strong R&D organization.
Partnering with Intel Capital is a natural fit and should be mutually beneficial.
“Working with Intel Capital is a step we believe will propel the business and help the technology we have developed reach its full potential. Our products have the flexibility to provide solutions across a range of applications and this investment will play a huge role in helping drive manufacturing efficiencies and further our research capabilities to help the business’ expansion into new markets. Intel products are ideally suited for the processing demands required by robotics. This investment from Intel Capital enables Aldebaran to become a key player in this nascent industry.” , Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Aldebaran Robotics said; “It is primarily for us, a fantastic mark of recognition and trust from a group that has always favored innovation and has risen in recent years at the top of the global computer market”.
Marcos Battisti, Managing Director Intel Capital Western Europe and Israel, commented: “Robotics is an area that Intel Capital has been interested in for some time. Aldebaran’s work in areas such as voice interaction and video analytics really highlights the advances made in perceptual computing and has the potential to offer innovative products and solutions across a range of sectors.”"