Covariant raises $40m to introduce AI Robotics to new industries



Pieter Abbeel, Covariant's President, Chief Scientist and co-founder

The round was led by Index Ventures, along with AI-focused Radical Ventures and participation from existing investor Amplify Partners and others.

Artificial Intelligence Robotics firm Covariant has raised $40 million in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $67 million.

Covariant will use the funding to accelerate its partnerships, introduce AI Robotics to new industries, and grow its research, engineering and commercial teams, according to the company.

Founded in 2017, Covariant is building the Covariant Brain, universal AI that enables robots to see, reason and act autonomously in the real world.

In January 2020, Covariant launched from stealth to reveal that it had reached a new AI milestone: its AI Robotics stations were running consistently at customer facilities in North America and Europe in the apparel, pharmaceutical and electronics industries, and had achieved autonomy in live production, with a mean unassisted operating time greater than one hour.

“When we founded Covariant, our goal was to make AI Robotics work autonomously in the real world,” said Pieter Abbeel, Covariant’s President, Chief Scientist and co-founder.

“Having reached that milestone, we see a huge benefit in expanding our universal AI to new use cases, customer environments and industries.”

Covariant invested in strategic partnerships to accelerate the deployment of robotic stations to customers after launching from stealth.


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In February, the company announced a partnership with ABB, an industrial robotics supplier, and a month later, Covariant joined forces with intralogistics systems supplier Knapp.

“As the coronavirus crisis has exposed serious frailty in the global supply chain, we’re seeing more demand than ever for our AI Robotics solutions,” said Peter Chen, Covariant CEO and co-founder.

“Our customers are eager to invest in AI and scale it across their supply chains to meet growing demands and more stringent requirements.

“This latest funding round, along with our recent partnerships, will allow us to scale quickly across multiple industries.”

As a part of the investment, Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures, will be joining Covariant’s board.

“We’ve been blown away by Covariant’s team of world-class AI researchers and roboticists and the universal AI they’ve built,” said Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures.

“Covariant’s AI, powered by deep learning, will unlock the next wave of robots that learn. We are excited to be a part of Covariant’s journey to become the next great AI company.”

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