Avidbots, a Kitchener, Ontario-based robotics company, announced it has raised $23.6 million in Series B funding. Existing investor True Ventures led this round of funding. GGV Capital, SOSV, Real Ventures, and 500 Startups Canada also participated in this round along with new investors Next47, BDC Capital and KCPL. Founded in 2014 by CEO Faizan Sheikh and CTO Pablo Molina, Avidbots has raised a total of $36 million in VC funding. Known as the creator of the world’s leading commercial floor-cleaning robot, Avidbots is planning to use the funding round to accelerate its global expansion.
The first product launched by Avidbots is known as Neo — which is a robotic floor scrubber that is deployed across commercial locations around the world such as airports, warehouses, malls, and universities. And Neo is now used in more than a dozen countries and is used at locations like the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Toronto’s Eaton Centre mall, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Neo has cleaned over half a billion feet of square feet thus far.
“With strong worldwide demand for our Neo industrial cleaning robot, Avidbots has been growing at a tremendous pace, and we’re excited to announce the financial support of world-class investors such as True Ventures, Next47, and GGV Capital as we enter into our next phase of expansion,” said Sheikh. “With this new funding, we will accelerate investment in talent acquisition, engineering, marketing, and sales to bring our cutting-edge robots to more customers worldwide.”
Neo makes the process of cleaning floors in large commercial spaces much easier. In the past, janitors had to push a floor-scrubbing machine every night — which takes hours to complete the strenuous and back-breaking work. As a result, this job has a high turnover. Neo frees up human workers so that they can focus on higher-value tasks like cleaning bathrooms and the common areas.
The ground staff controls Neo through an easy-to-use touch screen. And facility managers are able to log into an intuitive web app known as Command Center in order to access real-time and historical reporting and video streams. This provides better visibility into cleaning operations and outcomes.
“We invest in industrial automation and robotics companies that have thought deeply about which types of work are best suited for machines,” added True Ventures partner Rohit Sharma. “Repetitive, tedious work like commercial floor cleaning is an effective area of initial focus and we’re thrilled to support Faizan and his team as they pioneer this space.”
Neo is considered the first purpose-built robotic floor that also uses AI for performance optimization. And Neo continuously learns from its environment and is able to change its route on-the-fly so it can avoid obstacles and adopt to new floor layouts. Neo connects to the cloud via Wi-Fi and 4G and it includes 24×7 monitoring. Plus it is able to receive regular software updates in order to gain new functions.