Japan’s LifeRobotics opens series A round with $2.2 million in funding



See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based LifeRobotics, the Japanese startup behind a cooperative working robot called Coro, announced today that it has fundraised about 270 million yen (about $2.2 million) in a series A funding round. This round is led by Global Brain (GB) with participation from Nippon Technology Venture Partners (NTVP), and Lead Capital Management (LCM), anticipating additional funds from other investors to secure the final total of 400 million yen ($3.3 million).

Coinciding with this funding, Takashi Kato, NTVP CEO Kazutaka Muraguchi and GB venture partner Hidetaka Aoki will join the board of directors while GB CEO Yasuhiko Yurimoto will be appointed as an outside auditor. Kato is renowned as the co-founder of Japanese robotics company Schaft which was acquired by Google in 2013.

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LifeRobotics was founded in December of 2007 by Dr. Woo-Keun Yoon who has been studying livelihood-support robot arms at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and other research institutions for over 15 years. His team have been developing cooperative working robots which allow users to let the robot learn motions using a 3D mouse or a game pad without complicated programming skills.

Along with the funding announcement, the company just unveiled a co-robot for picking work called Coro, which will be showcased at International Robot Exhibition 2015 taking place in Tokyo from December 2nd to 5th. Its sales will start in January 2016. Coro uses the company’s patent-pending Transpander technology, allowing placement of the co-robot in small manufacturing spaces where conventional-type robots are difficult to locate. In this way, this brand new robot will help people improve their productivity as well as automate processes in manufacturing.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy