Kitchener-Waterloo startup Avidbots has secured $70 million USD in a Series C funding round to expand its fleet of floor scrubbing robots.

Both new and returning investors took part, with Asia-based growth capital asset manager Jeneration Capital leading Avidbot’s round. While Jeneration Capital mainly invests in technology companies in Greater China, Avidbots has long had operations in Asia, spanning Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

The Series C round comes more than three years after Avidbots raised a $23.6 million USD ($31.5 million CAD) Series B round. According to the startup, its total funding to date sits at $107 million USD.

Avidbots claims to have seen strong demand for the second version of its robot, Neo 2, which Avidbots launched in 2020.

Existing investors True Ventures, Next 47, SOSV, GGV Capital, BDC Capital, Golden Ventures, and Kensington Capital Partners, all took part in the most recent round. BMO Capital Partners, Golden Vision Capital, and Nicola Wealth joined as first-time investors in Avidbots.

Existing Avidbots investors that did not take part in this round include Real Ventures and 500 Startups Canada. The latter firm never raised another fund after 2017 following sexual misconduct allegations regarding 500 Startups founder Dave McClure. Real Ventures recently announced that it was pausing fundraising for its next fund following a swap in leadership.

Avidbots told BetaKit that the round did not include any secondary capital or debt financing.

Avidbots was founded in 2014 by two University of Waterloo engineering students, CEO Faizan Sheikh and Pablo Molina (CTO and chairman). Avidbots has developed and sells autonomous connected robots focused on floor cleaning. The company claims that more than 1,000 of its robots are being used in over a dozen countries, spanning five continents. The cleaning robot is used in settings that vary from education, healthcare, and manufacturing, as well as airports and transit hubs.

The startup plans to use its Series C capital to expand its fleet of commercial cleaning robots “and add-ons,” as well as increase its sales and marketing efforts with the goal of increasing its market share in regions like the United States, and globally. The company claims to have seen strong demand for the second version of its robot, Neo 2, which Avidbots launched in 2020.

In order to increase its research and development as well as testing capabilities, Avidbots also announced that it has secured additional space in Kitchener-Waterloo for a new headquarters. Avidbots called the new 70,000 square foot space a “significant upgrade” compared to the 40,00 square feet it had previously.

With that space to fill and demand to meet, the robot startup is looking to significantly increase the size of its team, with plans to hire more than 100 employees over the next 12 months. According to LinkedIn, Avidbots’ employee base sits around 260 staff currently.

Autonomous floor-cleaning robots are a growing market with reports projecting expansion from $9.8 billion USD in 2022 to $25.9 billion USD by 2027. The Asia Pacific is considered the leading region when it comes to implementing cleaning robots. However, much of the market is focused on consumer cleaners, with the likes of Roomba creator iRobot recently launching a mop and vacuum robot (Amazon is also working to acquire iRobot). Though, Avidbots is not alone in the commercial space; traditional players like industrial equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) have their own autonomous commercial floor scrubbers.

Feature image courtesy of Avidbots.

The post Avidbots closes $70 million USD Series C round to grow fleet of commercial cleaning robots first appeared on BetaKit.

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