Ex-Cruise CEO Raises $150M For Robotics Startup Co-Founded With Longtime Tesla AI Head Who Just Quit

Former Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt has successfully raised $150 million for his latest venture, a robotics startup named The Bot Company.

What Happened: Alongside former Cruise engineer Luke Holoubek and former Tesla AI employee Paril Jain, Vogt launched The Bot Company, which is now valued at $550 million following this recent funding round, according to a Forbes report. 

The startup aims to create home robots capable of handling household chores like cleaning and laundry.

Key investors in the round include Spark Capital and Nat Friedman, the former GitHub CEO who now manages a significant AI-focused fund. The company’s business model is centered on selling these robots directly to consumers, with the added feature of customization through a Discord-like chat server. 

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However, this business model could change as the company, which is not yet generating revenue, continues to evolve.

The founders’ previous experience with autonomous vehicles at Cruise and Tesla is anticipated to be advantageous in overcoming the technical challenges of creating independent robots. 

Why It Matters: Co-founder Jain was a longtime AI manager at Tesla, Inc. TSLA, where he played a significant role in the deployment of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software, which he recently revealed was deployed on approximately 2 million vehicles in the U.S. 

His experience and expertise in AI and autonomous technology could be instrumental in developing advanced home robots, adding a unique edge to The Bot Company’s offerings.

He revealed his departure from the EV giant on Tuesday, amid wider company layoffs, saying it has “been an incredible 7 years building the best self driving product on the market.”

“While I had always planned to help Tesla get to the final destination of global deployment of Robotaxis, I think it's time to accelerate [the] rest of the robotics industry and build more bots that give people time back,” he added.

Read Next: Tesla’s Genius Move Or Price Cut In Disguise? Analysts Dissect EV Giant’s 0.99% Model Y Financing Scheme

Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch via Flickr

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