February 22, 2022
RIOS Intelligent Machines, which develops end-to-end AI-powered robotic workcells for factory automation, has announced it raised $28 million in Series A equity funding and debt financing. The new round of funding, together with a $5 million venture round announced in 2020, raises the total capitalization of RIOS to $33 million.
RIOS helps enterprises automate their factory assembly lines, warehouses or supply operations by deploying AI-powered robotic workcells on the factory floor. The company’s systems are currently deployed in the U.S. in the manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and food & beverage sectors. The company helped pioneer the robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model, and currently offers its robotic workforce through a factory automation-as-a-service agreement, in which customers have no upfront capital commitments. The company said it has signed agreements with more than a dozen customers in the U.S. and Japan, from midsize companies to large enterprises. RIOS said the new funding will be used to deploy its robots 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,” said Bernard Cass, CEO of RIOS. “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. 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 said it focuses on the last frontier of automation in factories, in which traditional automation processes break down. The new breed of robots it uses includes dexterity, cognitive skills and autonomy that are geared to tackle hard-to-automate tasks in unstructured environments. The company said 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 platforms, and the 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.”
The oversubscribed Series A round was led by new 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.
For more information regarding RIOS and its technologies, visit its website here.