SoftBank Boosts its Ambitions in the Robotics Industry, Backs Telexistence with $170M Investment

Softbank Group Corp SFTBY SFTBF joined a $170 million funding round for a robot maker after founder Masayoshi Son voiced his plans to return to the offensive.

Tokyo's Telexistence Inc said it raised a Series B round backed by SoftBank, a fund set up by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd HNHPF Foxconn and CTBC Financial Holding Co, Globis Capital Partners, and earlier investors. 

Also Read: Softbank-Backed Arm Eyes Commercial Blockbuster Products Ahead Of IPO, Shelves Flagship Division

Telexistence said it will use the funds to expand to the U.S. and boost headcount, Bloomberg reports.

Telexistence robot arms help stack shelves across 300 FamilyMart Co convenience stores in Japan, and the company is looking to scale up its operations to more significant tasks and customers. 

Telexistence said it would enter a strategic partnership with SoftBank Robotics Group Corp, a subsidiary of the investor, to commercialize its robots in North America. The startup already works with U.S. tech firms Microsoft Corp MSFT and Nvidia Corp NVDA, whose cloud and artificial intelligence tech helped develop its robot arms. SoftBank Robotics and Globis will get board seats at the six-year-old startup.

Foxconn is investing via a joint fund set up with CTBC aimed originally at investing in electric-vehicle ventures.

Price Action: SFTBF shares closed lower by 0.41% at $46.99 on Wednesday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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