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Scaling to Success For Robotics Startups

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How can robotics startups reach scale? Case studies from HAX and beyond. Talk given at the R-18 conference in Odense, Denmark, in September 2018

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Scaling to Success For Robotics Startups

  1. 1. SCALING to SUCCESS for Robotics Startups Benjamin Joffe, Partner, SOSV / HAX
  2. 2. • Global • Early stage • Deep tech • >700 startups (4 unicorns) • $400M AUM • NEW! $250M Fund (2019~)
  3. 3. HARDWARE LIFE SCIENCES SOCIAL & MOBILE FOOD 70% 30%
  4. 4. $100k-$250k FIRST CHECKS 200startups ~30 INVESTMENTS / YEAR GrowingB2B >20 ROBOTICS STARTUPS
  5. 5. Stage 1 Shenzhen 4-8 months Mentorship & co-development Engineering Design Stage 2 San Francisco 2-3 months Mentorship & sales Traction Fundraising
  6. 6. Hej! • 5 years @ HAX (Shenzhen, HK… Paris?) • 18 years in China / Japan / Korea (+ SF) • Telecom / Consulting / Gaming / Hardware • Writer / Speaker / Angel investor (12 startups) • ben@hax.co / @benjaminjoffe
  7. 7. QUIZ !
  8. 8. Q1 Which Danish robotics companies were acquired for over $100M?
  9. 9. Answer • Universal Robots ($285M) - May 2015 • MiR ($148M) - April 2018
  10. 10. Universal Robots • 2005: Founded • 2008: UR5 (5kg, Denmark, Germany) • 2012: UR10 (10kg) • 2015: UR3 (3kg) • 2015: Acquired for US$285 million (Teradyne)
  11. 11. To note • 3+ years from start to first product • Sold for 4x revenue
  12. 12. Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR) • 2013: Founded • 2015: Investment 1.5 MUSD • 2018: Acquired for 148 MUSD (Teradyne)
  13. 13. Q2 Which robot pet just got back on market?
  14. 14. $3,000 ~10,000 units in 3 months in Japan 1999 150,000 units in 7 years
  15. 15. Q3 Which robotics companies were acquired by Softbank?
  16. 16. Q4 What is the #1 home robotics company in the world?
  17. 17. Roomba Story • iRobot (1990, from MIT), Roomba (2002) • Sales: 1mln units (2004), 10mln (2013), 20mln (2017) • New model • Hands-free cleaning (vacuum the vacuum => bag) • Permanent maps • "Alexa, ask Roomba to clean the kitchen” • Robot + base = $949
  18. 18. iRobot: $2.83B Ecovacs: $2.57B
  19. 19. Q5 Which robotics startups are valued over $1B (‘unicorns’)?
  20. 20. Robot Unicorns • IPO • iRobot + Ecovacs • Cyberdyne ($1.5B) • Kuka ($5B) • PRIVATE • Ninebot / Segway ($1.5B) • DJI ($15B?) • UBTech ($5B?) • Carbon 3D ($1.7B) + Desktop Metal (>$1B)
  21. 21. Q6 Which are the next robotic unicorns?
  22. 22. ?
  23. 23. IDEAS
  24. 24. Robots will replace humans Robots will work with humans Robots will teach humans
  25. 25. NEWS
  26. 26. $220 million (Uber) All-electric (2020) Market Cap: 90 million EUR
  27. 27. John Deere buys Blue River for $305M
  28. 28. 2012 2017
  29. 29. STARSHIP raised $42M
  30. 30. Raised $170M
  31. 31. Raised $48M Raised $95M Raised $26M
  32. 32. JIBO raised $72M KURI
  33. 33. Makeblock (HAX startup) raised $80M 20,000 schools use their products
  34. 34. I DISLIKE
  35. 35. WHAT WE LEARNED
  36. 36. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2012 Makeblock
  37. 37. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 500 Staff >$200M valuation B2C / B2G
  38. 38. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  39. 39. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2014 Cell Robotics
  40. 40. Lab to Market is hard
  41. 41. Finding your market • B2C? • B2B? • B2G?
  42. 42. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  43. 43. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2014 Avidbots
  44. 44. Insights • ‘Canada factor’ • High [Talent / Entrepreneurs] ratio • Gov pays back >35% R&D • Access to U.S., global mindset • Trade show => Customers (Singapore, Australia)
  45. 45. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 100 staff B2B
  46. 46. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  47. 47. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2014 OpenTrons
  48. 48. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Big labs
  49. 49. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co University labs + Biotech Startups
  50. 50. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Raised $10M
  51. 51. Insights • Finding your market • Speed • Price • Ship from China • “China is the future of industrial R&D” ?
  52. 52. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  53. 53. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2015 Simbe Robotics
  54. 54. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co SIMulated BEing
  55. 55. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Supermarket Inventory
  56. 56. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co SUPermarket INventory ?
  57. 57. Benefits • Pilot at Schnucks : 3 scans / day • Shelf-level data (‘Shelf Health’) at a granularity and a frequency not previously possible, • “$450B in under-optimized shelf space”
  58. 58. access to the ultimate supply chain Shenzhen -Huaqiangbei
  59. 59. U.S.A.
  60. 60. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Fundraising?
  61. 61. Insights • Willow Garage • “Prototype effect” • Milestones: Launch video + pilot customer
  62. 62. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  63. 63. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2017 Viabot
  64. 64. Do more?
  65. 65. Target Market? • From B2C to B2B • Schools, Stadiums, Parks, Malls, etc.
  66. 66. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2017 Unsupervised.ai
  67. 67. Boston Dynamics Black Mirror
  68. 68. Unsupervised A.I.
  69. 69. Warehouse efficiency
  70. 70. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2017 Youibot
  71. 71. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Vehicle inspection
  72. 72. Insights • Clear paint point for first application • Industry partner (Michelin) • Expansion
  73. 73. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  74. 74. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co HOW ABOUT INDUSTRY?
  75. 75. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co 2017 Elephant Robotics
  76. 76. • 5kg / 810mm range • 0.05mm repeatability • Co-bot • Vision system • Easy programming
  77. 77. Insights • Chinese • Customization • Customer service
  78. 78. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Invest now?
  79. 79. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Kniterate Unspun Wazer
  80. 80. Bespoke manufacturing WAZER Waterjet KNITERATE Knitting UNSPUN Weaving
  81. 81. 3d scan
  82. 82. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Nuada
  83. 83. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co JAPET
  84. 84. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Trainerbot 2016
  85. 85. Insights • 2 founders • $250k • Shipping in November!
  86. 86. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Key Moments For Fundraising
  87. 87. Momentum & Milestones • (idea?) • Working prototype • Pilot customer • Real product • Sales growth
  88. 88. Who to raise from? • Grants • Customers • Angels • Local VCs • Global VCs
  89. 89. Dangers • Founders fights • Bad timing • Too much tech • Lack of PR, Marketing & Sales
  90. 90. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Summary
  91. 91. SUMMARY • SciFi is mostly wrong • More B2B • More high-tech, A.I. & Machine Learning • Not just a robot
  92. 92. SUMMARY • Find real needs • Do one thing well • Make it cheaper • Be fast • Be frugal • Look for the best resources • Customers are better than raising money
  93. 93. WHAT HAX IS LOOKING FOR • Startups ! • Co-investors • Industry partners • LPs ($250M fund)
  94. 94. @benjaminjoffe - ben@hax.co Mange Tak ! @benjaminjoffe ben@hax.co

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