VIDEO: Robot Investments Weekly: Road Ahead Looks Good for Robotics Market

Robot Investments Weekly: Road Ahead Looks Good for Robotics Market

With the first half of 2018 almost over, companies continue to invest heavily in robotics, AI, and autonomous vehicle systems.


The end of June (and the end of the second quarter) saw a bunch of investments in robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles, including several in aerial drones, agricultural devices, and industrial automation. This week also marked a report from a research firm outlining how big the robotics market was in 2017.

 Credit: (PRNewsfoto/Faraday Future)

Today we’re highlighting 12 transactions from recent weeks, but you can always track more investments in the RBR Transactions Database. Our regularly updated database lets you sort deals by company, industry, technology, or transaction type. RBR Insiders can also download the Q1 2018 Transactions Report, which gives further analysis on automation spending. Half the year is over, let’s see how June ended!

Report: $2.7 billion in robotics VC funding in 2017

Regular readers of this column know how much money is being invested within the robotics market, but unless you track every transaction, you might not know how much is being spent in total. We do our best, of course, but even we miss some announcements on occasion.

Fortunately, analyst firms such as ABI Research make it their job to track such investments for their clients as well. ABI this week announced a report on last year’s investments in global automation. The company said 2017 “represented the largest year of investment,” with $2.7 billion invested by venture capital companies in the robotics industry.

ABI Research noted that the growth rate slowed from 2016 to 2017 compared with the rate between 2015 and 2016, but that was because they narrowed the definition of robotics, leaving out categories like autonomous cars.

Had that category been included, robotics market investment would have exceeded $5 billion, said Rian Whitton, a research analyst at ABI Research.

“Given the narrower definition, the sizeable increase in investment is a further indication of the growing confidence in the robotics industry, and the sense of urgency investors have in funding these key technologies,” Whitton said.