BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2015) - Jibo, Inc., the company behind Jibo -- the first Social Robot for the home -- has closed $11M in a Series A extension round with strategic investors from Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. Participating investors include:
- Acer (Taiwan) - Established in 1976, Acer is a hardware + software + services company dedicated to creating innovative products that enhance people's lives.
- Dentsu Ventures (Japan) - Dentsu Ventures invests in technology startups, with a focus on marketing, media, social, devices and others.
- KDDI (Japan) - KDDI is one of Asia's top telecommunications carriers.
- LG Uplus (Korea) - LG Uplus is a telecommunications and mobile phone operator in South Korea.
- NetPosa (China) - NetPosa Technologies Ltd. delivers comprehensive video monitoring and storage solutions.
In January of this year, Jibo, Inc. raised $25.3M in Series A financing. Monies invested in this extension round will be used to accelerate Jibo operations, product enhancements, partner content integrations and Jibo's market introduction. Prior to this strategic investment, Jibo's combined Indiegogo and InDemand campaigns raised approximately $4M with more than 6,500 Jibos sold.
"This round of strategic investment, centered in the target markets of Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China, will be a cornerstone of Jibo's further expansion into international markets," said Steve Chambers, CEO of Jibo, Inc. "We believe these investments in Jibo highlight the appeal of consumer social robots, and of Jibo himself, in the growing Asia-Pacific market."
Jibo helps the family stay connected and improves family communication -- anything from lending a hand in managing your busy life to providing companionship and entertainment. Jibo transforms existing, flat content and application experiences so you can interact with technology in a way never before possible.
"The social/interpersonal exchange inherent to social robotics like Jibo brings a new experience to in-home connected technologies -- one reflective of the intimacy of the home. It will be particularly interesting to watch Jibo evolve for cultural appropriateness across the globe," said Jessica Groopman, an industry analyst with the Altimeter Group covering the Internet of Things. "The vision here is compelling as Jibo will strive to establish a strong personalized relationship between the connected home and the family members living in it. Intelligent interaction design with tightly choreographed and culturally-specific movement, graphics and voice will be critical to successfully localizing Jibo to AsiaPac markets, and beyond."
PARTICIPATING INVESTOR QUOTATIONS
"We see significant value in Jibo who can provide companionship to all members of the family, especially children and elders," said Jeff Chen, Acer's chief investment officer. "Our investment in Jibo is based on our view of Jibo as a platform to develop IOB (Internet of Being) services, and smart home applications that may be powered by Acer's BYOC (Bring Your Own Cloud) or in the future, may offer enhanced interactivity with Acer Chromebooks in the education sector."
"We believe Japanese consumers will be ready to bring social robots into their homes soon," said Kotaro Sasamoto, managing partner of Dentsu Ventures. "We see Jibo as ushering in a new era of social robots, an era where robots provide companionship and build relationships as they connect with the family and friends like no other product can."
"Jibo is a true pioneer in one of the most important technology transformations ever," said Makoto Takahashi, executive member/senior vice president of KDDI. "With our investment, KDDI is acknowledging that in the era of Internet of Things, the family robot is going to be essential and ubiquitous, and Jibo will play an important role in bringing this technology to the mass market."
"We believe that Jibo is a home social robot with world-class intelligence and emotion," said Suntae Kim, CTO of LG Uplus. "LG Uplus, through investment and strategic partnership with Jibo, will evolve into the New Life Creator, realizing novel life values of adding more relaxation and happiness to lives of customers and their families."
"Among all the robots I've seen, Jibo is the only one that touched my heart," said Brian Liu, CEO of Netposa Technologies Ltd. "Jibo defines a brand new type of robot with emotions. All of the Chinese Jibo fans are waiting to have Jibo in their families."
About Jibo, Inc.:
Jibo, Inc., creator of the world's first Social Robot and Developers' Platform, is a design-driven company dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences through advanced social robotics technology. The Company was founded by Cynthia Breazeal, a pioneer of social robotics and human robot interaction from the MIT Media Lab. Jibo is a capable and engaging Family Companion. He is able to get to know his family, learn from them and adapt to their preferences overtime. With the Jibo SDK, developers have the tools to create and build a wide range of Jibo Skills (robot applications), extending Jibo's personality and capabilities in the home. Jibo was brought here to provide fun, help and companionship to everyone in the home. Get to know Jibo today at www.jibo.com.