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Boston Group Launches $50M Fund for Early-Stage Robotics Firms

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May 3, 2022

Cybernetix Ventures, an independent venture capital firm that invests in early-stage robotics, automation and artificial intelligence companies, has announced launching its first global fund, headquartered in Boston. 

The Cybernetix Fund I will focus on pre-seed, seed and Series A investments into companies in the U.S. and around the world that develop robotics solutions for manufacturing, logistics, construction, and healthcare verticals. The fund will also invest in key robotics-enabling software companies in AI and machine learning, cloud robotics, cybersecurity, autonomy, sensors and edge computing.

The fund’s general partner, Fady Saad, is co-founder of MassRobotics, which supports more than 60 resident startups at its Boston shared office and laboratory facility. Saad helped create the group’s corporate partnership and scaling program, building formal partnerships with more than 40 companies. General partner Mark Martin has been an investor, board observer and advisor for more than 20 startups in the software-as-a-service, IoT, and sensor technology space. As a VP of industrial automation, sensors and IoT at Analog Devices, he led an organization with over 600 employees and $1 billion annual revenue. Martin has extensive mergers and acquisition experience, overseeing the sale of two business units valued at over $450 million combined and the acquisition of four businesses valued at over $100 million combined during his tenure at Analog Devices.

“With the launch of Cybernetix Ventures, robotics startups will have access to a one-of-a-kind fund which is from the robotics community, led by robotics leaders, for robotics innovators,” said Saad. “It’s clear to us that robotics is a distinct investment class, separate from established categories like software and biotech, with its own investment models, metrics and portfolio engagement. The majority of investors are just starting to figure out the true value of innovative, early-stage robotics opportunities. With the establishment of this fund, we’re here to influence what will have the greatest long-term impacts, and share the full extent of our expertise and networks with the companies we believe in.”

The Cybernetix Ventures advisory board also includes seven leaders in their field, including:

  • Steve Ricci, former partner at Flagship Ventures, and former president of the New England Venture Capital Association.
  • Helen Greiner, co-founder, former chairman and president of iRobot and current CEO of Tertill.
  • Peter Wurman, co-founder and former CTO of Kiva Systems, a manufacturer of mobile robotic fulfillment systems that was acquired by Amazon and rebranded as Amazon Robotics.
  • Rick Faulk, the CEO of Locus Robotics and former CEO of Quiet Logistics.
  • Elaine Chen, director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts University and former entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
  • Amar Sawhney, the CEO of Pramand, CEO and chairman of Instylla.
  • Dennis Clarke, chairman and CEO of Boston-based commercial real estate development company Cummings Properties.

“There’s never been a venture capital team like this before, purpose-built and ready from day one to identify and target the most compelling opportunities at the intersection of robotics, automation, and AI,” said Ricci. “We already have seen the team putting their wealth of knowledge, experience, and network into their current investments.”

The company said it has already built an investment portfolio of leading early-stage robotics and AI companies that covers their target technology and market sectors.

“After meeting Fady and Mark, I quickly realized the power of their network and experience, and I knew I had to get them onto our cap table,” said Derrick Morse, CEO of portfolio company Rugged Robotics. “We were massively oversubscribed, but it’s important to have investors who really know the market and technology, understand the challenges of driving early-stage robotics companies, and can really engage on the important challenges we face as we grow the business.”

For more details on the company and its new fund, visit the Cybernetix Ventures website here.


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