Bay Area-based Rapid Robotics today announced a $ 12 million Series A. The new round, led by NEA, brings the company’s total funding to $ 17.5 million. He joins a recently closed seed round, announced in November of last year. Existing investors Greycroft, Bee Partners and 468 Capital also participated in the round.
We noted at this point that COVID-19 is having a huge impact on robotics investment. At the very least, the pandemic has helped accelerate interest in automation, as many “non-essential” workers were unable to get to their jobs. Today, manufacturing jobs often do not have the ability to operate remotely.
Rapid notes that the company’s technology has been involved in the production of some 50 million parts over the past year, across a wide variety of different manufacturing sectors. And, like his predecessor, President Biden has already started talking about strategies to get manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Of course, as ambitious as it is, any plan will need to be a balance between human jobs and automation.
The company notes the long-standing issue with human operators in these roles. “If we don’t fix this problem, US manufacturers will never be able to compete in a global market,” CEO Jordan Kretchmer said in a statement. “It really is that simple.”
Rapid’s main added value here is ease of use. The company creates systems designed to be up and running quickly.