December 5, 2023

SoftBank is backing Japanese robotics startup telepresencedo well tech giants Given the current AI hype, recent promises will recoup the investment offensive.

Tokyo-based Telexistence said on Thursday it had raised $170 million (23 billion yen) in Series B funding from SoftBank, Airbus Ventures, Monoful Partners, Foxconn and the KDDI Open Innovation Fund set up by CTBC Financial Holdings and Global Capital Partners.

Founded in 2017, Telexistence develops artificial intelligence-powered robotic arms for the retail and logistics industries.Last year, the company Deploy robots at 300 FamilyMarts Convenience stores all over Japan.

Chief Executive Jin Tomioka said in a statement that the company will use the new capital to strengthen its global workforce.but oneIn addition to the financing, Telexistence also announced a strategic partnership with SoftBank Robotics Group, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, to accelerate its commercialization in North America. In addition, the startup said it will work with Foxconn to produce the next-generation robot “Ghost.”

Kenichi Kent Yoshida of SoftBank Robotics Group and Ryohei Nomoto of Globis Capital Partners will join Telexistence’s board of directors for the investment.

SoftBank has been very bullish on investing in robotics, backing California-based bear robot Back to 2020.Through SoftBank Vision Fund 2, it also Invest in Shanghai Qinglang Roboticsspecialized in the development of service robots, and open innovationa developer of medical testing robots.