Joi/Creative Commons

We are in a robotics renaissance, with companies everywhere rushing to develop new automation technology. Rewired is the latest to join the race to invest, with a $100 million bankroll.

The approach: Rewired calls itself a "startup studio," meaning that unlike traditional investors who write a check and provide advice as needed, it will take in entrepreneurs and researchers and help them hatch their companies. It will also back early-stage companies that already exist. "In many cases, these scientists have no idea how to commercialize these technologies," Rewired venture partner Santiago Tenorio told Axios.

For starters: Rewired plans to initially invest in companies working to improve machine perception, or how computers can interpret data in a human-like way. This includes sensors, machine learning, machine hearing, and so on. It won't, however, invest in military weapons-related technology.

Portfolio: So far, Rewired has invested in OpenBionics (low-cost bionic hands and prosthetics) and RaptorMaps (software for analyzing drone data). It's currently in conversations with three other companies, and plans to make five to 10 additional investments in the next 12 months, according to Tenorio.

Not alone: It's in discussions to form partnerships with MassRobotics at the MIT Media Lab, Professor Vijay Kumar's Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, AlphaLab Gear in Pittsburgh, the Aerial Robotics Lab at Imperial College in London, and Open AI.

Not alone (cont): The idea of providing very hands-on resources to hardware startups isn't novel. There are hardware-focused accelerator programs (e.g., Hax and Highway1), and VC funds (e.g., Bolt, Lemnos).


Rewired's $100 million in funding comes from Cascade Global, a multi-family office. One of Cascade's investors is Tej Kohli, an Indian entrepreneur with a reported net worth of $6 billion. Kohli, who also manages a VC fund that backs robotics startups, recently made headlines for his ambitions to cure blindness and improve agricultural productivity via solar energy.

The story has been updated to correct the status of Rewired's partnerships.

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 19,401,935 — Total deaths: 721,906 — Total recoveries — 11,767,805Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 4,942,747 — Total deaths: 161,367 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

The silver linings of online school

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Online learning can be frustrating for students, teachers and parents, but some methods are working.

The big picture: Just as companies are using this era of telework to try new things, some principals, teachers and education startups are treating remote learning as a period of experimentation, too.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.