Rapyuta, developing Android-like platform for robotics, secures $9.5M series A funding

Rapyuta Robotics’ engineers let robots with different capabilities synchronize and combine their actions each other by a single command entry.
Image credit: Masaru Ikeda

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-headquartered Rapyuta Robotics, the startup developing a cloud-based robotics platform, revealed on Monday that it has secured 1.05 billion yen (about $9.5 million US) in a series A follow-on funding round.

Participating investors are Japan Co-Invest Limited Partnership, Sony (Sony Innovation Fund), JMTC Capital and SBI Investment. For Rapyuta, this follows their seed round back in January of 2015 (raised about $3.2 million US) and their series A round back in September of 2016 (raised about $9 million US). SBI Investment has consecutively invested in the startup since the seed round. The funding at this time means the startup has secured a total of 2.5 billion yen (about $22.5 million US) to date.

Spun off from ETH Zurich, Rapyuta Robotics was founded in 2014 in Tokyo by CEO Gajan Mohanarajah who earned a master’s degree at Tokyo Institute of Technology followed by Ph.D at ETH Zurich. About 25 40 people, mainly engineers, are working based out of their Tokyo headquarters as well as Zurich and Bangalore offices.

The platform that the startup has been currently working on is somewhat like a robotics version of the Android open mobile platform. Initiated by the launch of the Android platform by Google, the mobile ecosystem has been created through the emergence of various mobile development frameworks, app developers and service providers, in not to mention users.

Mohanarajah explained:

Rapyuta Robotics aims to be a platformer but is also developing solutions in addition to the platform because the ecosystem in the robotics sectors is still emerging that there’s still an insufficient number of system integrators and other players.

To select the best target sector which the company would develop solutions for, they thought how much of an impact they could have on each addressable sector by looking at how many robots are connected and how many engineers are involved, and currently focusing on logistics (such as order picking) and robot arm and drone. Companies already using robots will not be forced to replace their existing assets but can obtain further  efficiency of the assets by adopting Rapyuta’s solutions, Mohanarajah said.

Rapyuta Robotics will use the funds for further development based on feedbacks from their early developer program since last year, sales marketing for public launch of the platform, plus development of automated solutions for logistics and factory automation industries, as well as extensive sales marketing to strengthen partnerships.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy