At a Glance
Robotic Machine Operator (RMO) provider Rapid Robotics raises $36.7M in a Series B funding round co-led by Kleiner Perkins, Tiger Global. This is the company’s third funding in less than a year.
Rapid Robotics, a provider of out-of-the-box automation for manufacturers, has raised $36.7 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global, a press release from the company said.
The Series A funding for Rapid Robotics came in April this year, where it netted $12 million. Before that, it received $5.5 million in a seed round in November last year. With the close of Series B, the company has raised a total of $54.2 million, with the previous three rounds coming in less than a year. Existing investors – NEA, Greycroft, Bee Partners and 468 Capital – participated in the funding round.
Rapid Robotics, which emerged from stealth in 2020, is the pioneer of a ready-to-work Rapid Machine Operator (RMO), designed and priced for machine operations. It comes with components like grippers and computer vision that can work in hours compared to other robotics solutions, which take weeks or months. The RMO can be easily transferred between tasks as needed, without any retraining.
Quoting a Deloitte study, Rapid Robotics stated that most job openings in the manufacturing sector are for machines operators. However, even by the end of 2020, the industry only regained 63 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic despite job openings at near-record levels. So, without operators, factories sit idle.
“We hear a lot about the semiconductor shortage, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Contract manufacturers can’t produce gaskets, vials, labels—you name it. I’ve seen cases where the inability to produce a single piece of U-shaped black plastic brought an entire auto line to a halt,”Jordan Kretchmer, co-founder and CEO of Rapid Robotics.
However, Jordan stressed that since the launch of RMO, its customers are rampant, winning deals and hiring staff. Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global, stated that most manufacturing in America is done in smaller factories, deeply challenged by the machine operator shortage. The RMO provides additional support there.
Wen Hsieh, general partner at Kleiner Perkins, stated that Rapid Robotics came up with the right product at the right time and added,
“Rapid Robotics pinpointed an urgent problem in a multi-billion-dollar industry and solved it in a matter of months. They’ve found the perfect balance of innovation, affordability and ease of implementation and use.”