Venture Capital

RIOS Raises $28 Million Series A

MENLO PARK — RIOS Intelligent Machines, Inc., a provider of end-to-end AI-powered robotic workcells for factory automation, 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, raise 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 on the factory floor. Its robotic workcells are currently deployed in the United States in the manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and food & beverage sectors. RIOS pioneered the robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model for robotic workcells well before other automation providers, 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 U.S. 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 focuses on the last frontier of automation in factories, in which traditional automation breaks down. 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. Today, the company 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.