UPDATED 03:16 EDT / APRIL 28 2020

AI

Robotics startup Brain Corp. raises $36M

Brain Corp., a company that makes autonomous software for cleaning robots, said Monday it has raised $36 million in a new round of funding.

It said the money will help it to expand at a time when hospitals, airports, schools and others on the front line of the coronavirus crisis can increasingly make use of its services. SoftBank Group Corp. led the latest round, which also saw the participation of ClearBridge Investments, Satwik Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Brain has now raised $150 million in total.

Robots that can clean, disinfect, and otherwise assist medical personnel have gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have always envisioned a world where robots make the lives of people safer, easier, and more productive,” Eugene Izhikevich, chief executive officer of Brain Corp., said in a statement. “Autonomous robots are playing a vital role in supporting essential businesses and their workers during this health crisis. This investment will help us continue our pace of innovation and fuel our growth as we execute on the opportunity in front of us.”

Brain reckons it has deployed or enabled more than 10,000 robots that operate in dynamic public spaces. Its partners include firms such as Tennant Co., Nilfisk, Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG, Minuteman International, Dane Technologies, and UniCarriers Americas, which license its BrainOS software to make their robot systems work autonomously.

Retailers in particular have massively increased their use of robot cleaners in response to the coronavirus, Brain said.

The company said it plans to use the new funds to expand into new robotics and artificial intelligence applications beyond floor care. Areas it’s targeting include inventory delivery, shelf analytics, hospitality and other applications that can boost employee productivity, reduce costs and enhance customer experiences.

In addition, the funds will be used to support the manufacturing and sales efforts of Brain’s OEM partners in new markets such as Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Photo: Brain Corp.

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