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Covariant Raises USD 40 Million in Series B Round of Financing led by Index Ventures

By CIOReview | Thursday, May 7, 2020

From food distribution to healthcare to e-commerce, the global supply chain is facing unprecedented pressure to deliver orders quickly, reliably, and efficiently, while keeping workers safe. Automation is the key to meeting those challenges

Fremont, CA: AI Robotics firm Covariant secured USD 40 million in Series B funding round led by Index Ventures, with participation from AI-focused Radical Ventures, and existing partners Amplify Partners, and others. Proceeds from the new investment round will be used by the company to accelerate its partnerships, introduce AI Robotics to new industries, and grow its research, engineering, and commercial teams. From food distribution to healthcare to e-commerce, the global supply chain is facing unprecedented pressure to deliver orders quickly, reliably, and efficiently, while keeping workers safe. Automation is the key to meeting those challenges.

"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 was founded in 2017 and is currently building the Covariant Brain, universal AI that enables robots to see reason and act autonomously in the real world. The company's robots are equipped with general abilities such as robust 3D perception, physical affordances of objects, few-shot learning, and real-time motion planning, which gives them the intelligence to learn how to manipulate new objects they've never seen before in environments where they've never operated.

"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." The funding round comes on the heels of significant momentum for the company. Soon after launching from stealth, Covariant invested in strategic partnerships to accelerate the deployment of robotic stations to customers. In February 2020, the company announced a partnership with ABB, a leading industrial robotics supplier. The following month, Covariant joined forces with Knapp, a leading supplier of intralogistics systems. As a part of the investment, Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures, will be joining Covariant's board.

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