May was another big month of money flowing into robotic ventures. But May was even bigger in launching new robotics-focused venture funding groups.

May Fundings, Acquisitions, IPOs and New Funds

Frank Tobe | The Robot Report



Wonder Workshop (formerly Play-i) raised $6.9M in a Series A funding round for scaling up and production of their Dot and Dash robot programming learning system.

Corindus Vascular Robotics raised $42 million from an IPO which moved their over-the-counter stock to the NYSE MKT index, a special marketplace for small-cap growth stocks.

Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Innovations (DJI) raised $75M to build an industrial-grade UAV developer platform to supplement their successful drone making business. They also partnered with VC Accel Partners to set up a new UAS venture fund, SkyFund (see below).



Danish co-bot maker Universal Robots got acquired for $350M by American Teradyne, a provider of electronic testing equipment.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security acquired 2D3 Sensing, a 40-person UK video and image processing sensor manufacturer subsidiary of OMG, for $25M.



Airware Founder and CEO Jonathan Downey started a new fund to help UAS-related startups grow their businesses. The new fund, Commercial Drone Fund, has already invested in RedBird and Sky-Futures.

  • RedBird, a French startup that processes drone data, received an undisclosed amount from the new Commercial Drone Fund after receiving approximately $2.2M in April from GDF Suez New Ventures.
  • Sky-Futures, a UK service provider to the oil and gas industry which uses drones to help monitor and inspect facilities, received $200K from the Commercial Drone Fund after receiving approximately $3.8M from UK-based MMC Ventures, also in May, 2015.

SkyFund is another venture fund for unmanned aerial systems startups. Similar to the Commercial Drone Fund which is backed by drone autopilot maker Airware, SkyFund is backed by DJI and Accel Partners and is said to have launched operations with a $75M fund.

ABB and UK-based Venture:Bright set up The Idea Hub to fund and accelerate industrial robot concepts.

Qualcomm and TechStars launched their first Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator of 10 startups in a four-month mentorship-driven program at a new 7,000 sq ft work space and robotics lab in San Diego. Startups will share $1M in funding.




About Frank Tobe

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report. After selling his business and retiring from 25+ years as computer direct marketing and materials and consulting to the Democratic National Committee and major presidential, senatorial, congressional, mayoral campaigns and initiatives all across the U.S., Canada and internationally, he has energetically pursued a new career in researching and investing in robotics.

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.

Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

BitFlow Introduces 6th Generation Camera Link Frame Grabber: The Axion

BitFlow Introduces 6th Generation Camera Link Frame Grabber: The Axion

BitFlow has offered a Camera Link frame grabbers for almost 15 years. This latest offering, our 6th generation combines the power of CoaXPress with the requirements of Camera Link 2.0. Enabling a single or two camera system to operate at up to 850 MB/S per camera, the Axion-CL family is the best choice for CL frame grabber. Like the Cyton-CXP frame grabber, the Axion-CL leverages features such as the new StreamSync system, a highly optimized DMA engine, and expanded I/O capabilities that provide unprecedented flexibility in routing. There are two options available; Axion 1xE & Axion 2xE. The Axion 1xE is compatible with one base, medium, full or 80-bit camera offering PoCL, Power over Camera Link, on both connectors. The Axion 2xE is compatible with two base, medium, full or 80-bit cameras offering PoCL on both connectors for both cameras. The Axion-CL is a culmination of the continuous improvements and updates BitFlow has made to Camera Link frame grabbers.