SOURCE: Grishin Robotics

Grishin Robotics

April 11, 2016 11:00 ET

Grishin Robotics Raises $100M Fund to Pursue Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 11, 2016) - Grishin Robotics announces new $100 million fund, four times the size of its initial $25 million fund, announced in mid-2012. Originally one of the first exclusively robotics funds in the world, the firm now expands its investment focus to companies involved in the "Hardware Revolution" and becomes one of the ecosystem's largest players. While Dmitry self-financed Grishin Robotics' investments until now, a number of institutional and individual investors from Europe and the U.S. became partners in this new fund.

Until recently, people mainly thought about robots as multi-functional products in humanoid form-factor. Today single-purpose devices, combining sensors with software and data analytics components, have the potential to radically automate the physical world around us -- eliminating "dirty, dull & dangerous" tasks from our lives and, thus, realizing the ultimate purpose of robotics. The investment focus of the new fund reflects this vision, as Grishin Robotics looks to fund both hardware & software companies, driven by the six pillars of the Hardware Revolution -- cheaper components, ubiquitous connectivity, smartphone penetration, 3D printing, disruption of supply chain and crowdfunding. By 2020, total value of the markets driven by these changes, is estimated to reach $1 trillion.

The new fund will be primarily focused on Series A & B deals, with a certain amount of capital reserved for exciting seed and later-stage opportunities -- such as Ring, whose Series C round included the first investment out of Grishin Robotics' new fund. While the firm has already built a strong B2C portfolio, making investments into successful companies like littleBits and Sphero, with the new fund, Grishin Robotics is also looking to expand its B2B focus as well, building upon the experience of investing into companies like Spire, Double Robotics and Zipline. Some of the markets the firm is now actively looking into include collaborative and material handling robots, AI & data analytics, as well as industrial IoT. With the new fund, Grishin Robotics also intends to lead rounds more often. Depending on the deal structure and investing position, the new fund allocates up to $10 million over the lifecycle of the company.

While 12 previous investments are all located in the U.S., the firm plans to expand geographical focus to include Europe and will now have a presence in the Bay Area and U.K. New partner Verdi Israelyan, based out of London, will help to execute on that. Verdi brings to Grishin Robotics experience in private equity and VC from his DST and Goldman Sachs days, including investment discipline, structure and fundraising/investor relations. He also has significant operating experience, having worked together with Dmitry at Mail.Ru Group in COO capacity. "I have known Verdi and worked with him since 2009. His background is complementary to mine. I am confident that he'll become a great mentor to our portfolio companies and I'm excited to welcome him to our team," said Dmitry Grishin, founder of Grishin Robotics, co-founder & CEO at Mail.Ru Group.

About Grishin Robotics:
Grishin Robotics is a venture capital firm focused exclusively on the smart hardware industry. Launched in 2012, it provides capital, mentorship and connections to help entrepreneurs in this space get off the ground, scale their businesses globally and become a part of growing network of fellow hardware founders. Founded by Dmitry Grishin, co-founder & CEO of Mail.Ru Group, the mission of Grishin Robotics is to bring real change to the physical world by supporting companies that combine software innovation and tangible hardware products.