Ontario robot maker Clearpath raises $30M to grow industrial division
Company pushed its way into manufacturing plants and warehouses with palette-moving autonomous vehicle last year
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Technology / IIoT
KITCHENER, Ont.—Clearpath Robotics has raised $30 million in funding to continue expanding into the industrial self-driving vehicle market.
The Ontario-based company’s latest round of funding was led by Canadian venture capital fund iNovia Capital and supported by Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, RRE Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. Clearpath says it plans to use the funds to build out its Otto division, which focuses on material transport inside manufacturing plants and warehouses.
“Factories operate like small indoor cities, complete with roads, traffic, intersections and pedestrians,” Matt Rendall, CEO and co-founder of Clearpath, said in a statement. “Unlike city streets, a factory floor is a controlled environment, which makes it an ideal place to introduce self-driving vehicles at scale.
“Companies like Google, Tesla and Uber are still testing, whereas our self-driving vehicles are commercially available today,” he added.
Initially targeting the research market with its autonomous vehicle technology—and then expanding to general surveillance—the company pushed into the industrial space last year with the Otto, which is capable of performing a number of tedious material transport tasks that have traditionally required workers. GE and John Deere are two of the companies that have already deployed the palette-moving self-driving vehicle in their plants.
With the market for self-driving passenger vehicles expected to reach $80 billion by 2030, the Ontario-based company is aiming high.
“Clearpath has a big head start, and this new funding will allow us to further accelerate the development of the best self-driving software in the industry—and bring more Ottos into the world faster,” Rendall said.