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U.K.’s Academy of Robotics Launches Crowdfunding Effort

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March 1, 2022

Academy of Robotics, a U.K.-based autonomous vehicle and robotics company, has announced it launched its pre-series A fundraising, which will be accessible to all individuals. The company said it will provide an opportunity for professional and retail investors to participate in “pioneering autonomous technology that has a proven application in last-mile logistics and to invest in a company which already has a fully licensed, custom-built autonomous vehicle on the roads in the U.K.”

The company developed its first AV, the Kar-go Delivery Bot, using proceeds from an initial crowdfunding round in 2017. Since then, the company conducted successful road trials with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in September 2021, which focused on last-mile airbase logistics around the airbase at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

As part of the company’s current £20 million investment round, Academy of Robotics said it has already secured a £1 million investment and, in April 2021, it received a further £1 million in match-funding through the U.K. government’s Future Fund scheme. The scheme (which has now closed for applications) aims to support U.K.-based companies, subject to at least equal match-funding from private investors.

With the first £2 million secured, the company said it has allocated at least £1 million of its total £20 million pre-series A fundraise to retail investors using Crowdcube’s nominee service. Academy of Robotics is the first British autonomous vehicle company to launch a pre-series A fundraise on Crowdcube at this stage of proven development, based on data provided by Beauhurst and Crowdcube.

Academy of Robotics said the pre-series A funding will be used to scale-up production of its electric AV technology, which will facilitate opportunities for retail investors to directly benefit from the company’s growth and accelerated expansion. This includes opening a new factory and test-track facility in a rural location in the east of England, which aims to create at least 100 new jobs by 2023, including skilled work and technological development opportunities.

“Having achieved so much since our last fundraise, we are excited to launch our next round, offering the community of individual investors a chance to participate in the high-growth autonomous vehicle and robotic technology space in the U.K.,” said William Sachiti, CEO and founder of Academy of Robotics. “As we support the U.K. competing for its rightful share of the global AV sector, we can at the same time alleviate some of society’s challenges, including supply chain pressures and air pollution.”

The Kar-go Delivery Bots have been certified by the DVLA. With trials on U.K. roads (in Hounslow) in November 2020, the company has since expanded trials to include Surrey and South London. In the first Hounslow road trials, the company used contact-free self-driving technology to deliver medicines during the pandemic.

For more details on the crowdfunding effort, visit this website.

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