Parkway Venture Capital has led a US $70 million investment to develop Figure, an AI humanoid robot.
The new funding will be used to bring the robot to market and accelerate the process of development and manufacturing for the company’s first robot. The valuation of the one-year-old company is estimated to be in the region of $400 million.
Brett Adcock, founder and chief executive at Figure, invested $20 million personally in the round of finance. He has a solid track record of investment in successful companies. Having worked in innovative technology for the last 20 years, he previously founded Archer Aviation ($2.7B IPO) and Vettery ($100M exit).
The aim of Figure is to build the company with a 30-year view to dedicate time and resources on maximizing utility impact to humanity.
Other investors include Aliya Capital and Bold Ventures.
Will take on warehouse roles
Based in Sunnyvale, California, Figure develops general-purpose humanoid robots that could work in different environments and handle a variety of tasks usually performed by humans. The company’s AI robot is also designed to take on human roles where there are staff shortages, from warehouse and manufacturing to retail.
The ‘Figure’ humanoid robot will differ from other robots as it will be able to handle general tasks and it will also have the ability to become more efficient as it learns and interacts with the environment.
We believe that general-purpose humanoid robots have far more potential than single-purpose robots. The deployment into the workforce can help address labour shortages and over time lead the way in eliminating the need for unsafe and undesirable jobs.” Brett Adcock, founder and CEO – Figure
Race to launch
There is huge competition between the big tech companies and start ups to be first to market. The race is on. Tesla for example is working on a prototype of its humanoid robot ‘Optimus’. CEO Elon Musk has predicted that the electric vehicle maker would be in a position to receive orders for the robots in the next three to five years. The retail price will be under US $20,000.