Jun 23, 2022 - Business

Austin robotics company raises $14.6M

Austin-based Apptronik's humanoid robot, "Astro." Photo: Courtesy of Apptronik

Austin robotics company Apptronik announced Thursday a $14.6 million seed funding round, which the startup will use toward expanding its footprint in a growing industry.

The big picture: Apptronik spun off from the Human-Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Texas with the goal of building robots to work alongside humans in health care, the military, space and more.

  • Apptronik offers standalone humanoid robots and exoskeletons, the latter of which can fit over a person's body to help maximize mobility and performance.

Why it matters: The robotics industry is expected to reach $214 billion by 2030.

What they're saying: Jeff Cardenas, CEO and co-founder of Apptronik, said the funding will help the startup launch a flagship commercial product and recruit new talent.

  • Apptronik currently has 52 employees based in Austin and the company plans to double that number by next summer, according to Cardenas.
  • "From day one, we knew three things: This category is extremely important, the market opportunity is enormous, and it’s going to take great technology to win," Cardenas said.

Of note: Notable investors in the recent round include Austin-based Capital Factory, Dallas' Perot Jain and Grit Ventures.

Zoom out: The funding round from Apptronik is the latest sign of Austin's strong venture capital industry.

  • 2021 was a big year for VC funding in Austin, with 387 deals valued at a record-setting $4.9 billion — or 211% growth compared to the previous year.
  • In the first quarter of 2022, the metro area saw 99 deals valued at more than $1.5 billion, according to data from PitchBook.

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