Startup company Figure announced on Wednesday that it has secured $70 million in its first external funding round, with Parkway Venture Capital leading the investment. The capital infusion will be utilized to expedite the development and production of Figure’s inaugural autonomous humanoid robot, slated to launch within the coming months. Although the exact valuation of the one-year-old company remains undisclosed, an inside source indicated that it exceeds $400 million.
Founder and CEO Brett Adcock personally invested $20 million in the funding round, and additional investors include Aliya Capital and Bold Ventures. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Figure specializes in the creation of versatile humanoid robots capable of operating in various environments and performing a wide array of tasks, from warehousing to retail applications. The company has entered discussions with retailers to explore potential commercialization opportunities. Adcock, formerly a founder of Archer Aviation, asserts that Figure stands apart from other robotics firms, such as Boston Dynamics and Amazon Robotics, by focusing on the development of robots capable of executing general tasks. The ultimate objective is to enable these robots to learn and interact with their surroundings.
Adcock stated, “We firmly believe that general-purpose humanoid robots possess significantly greater potential than single-purpose robots. Their integration into the workforce can help address labor shortages and, over time, pave the way for eliminating hazardous and undesirable jobs.”
Numerous large technology companies and startups, including Figure, are engaged in a race to develop the next commercially viable humanoid robot. Tesla, for instance, unveiled a prototype of its humanoid robot named ‘Optimus’ last year. CEO Elon Musk predicted that the electric vehicle manufacturer would be capable of accepting orders for the robot within three to five years, with an expected price tag of under $20,000.