Realtime Robotics has been raising funding at a steady clip since announcing a two-pronged $31 million Series A back in 2021. This week’s $9.5 million announcement is a fast follow-up to last September’s $14.4 million raise. The new funds from Shinhan GIB and Kyobo Life Insurance push the Boston-based firm’s to date raise to north of $54 million. The funding is all part of what’s been effectively one prolonged Series A.
This time last year, Realtime unveiled RapidPlan, software that helps manufacturers deploy robots in an industrial setting. The system provides a variety of different features, including simulation, control, task management and programming. The company says the software can save deployers “weeks to months” of automation setup.
“Manufacturers need to accelerate their adoption of robotics – and quickly realize a return on that investment – in order to improve their ability to adapt and compete in today’s industry,” CEO Peter Howard said in a release. “RapidPlan perfectly complements these efforts, enabling the programming, deployment and robot control to be optimized.”
Interest in industrial automation accelerated considerably over the course of the pandemic, but there’s a fair bit of disconnect between desire and deployment. Some hardware makers offer their own proprietary system management software, but orchestrating a large number of different systems performing different tasks is still a major pain point. Accordingly, it’s become one of the hottest categories in robotics over the last few years.
Realtime’s offering is specifically focused on the manufacturing space — the front line of automation for decades. There’s still plenty of room for growth in the category, of course, but a lot of friction exists with regard to deployment. The firm previously announced a number of high-profile clients, including BMW group.
“There is currently a perfect storm of economic and employment pressures within the manufacturing space,” says Shinhan GIB’s Damian S. Kang. “This is driving an industry-wide need to embrace new technologies and approaches to longstanding problems, to become more efficient and improve cost structures, while still delivering the products that consumers demand.”
Realtime says funding will go toward deployment, scaling and R&D on its existing and future offerings. “This most recent funding will be used to speed roll out of our innovative products and services to global end users and line builders across the automotive and automated warehouse industries,” Howard tells TechCrunch. He adds that the company is currently doing selective hiring: “We are hiring specific roles that will help the company refine existing products and launch new ones. Specifically, we are looking for robot control engineers to build out our portfolio of supported robots; product design engineers to complement the product management team’s efforts in finalizing new products and services focused on robot cycle time, throughput and ROI for both brownfield and greenfield systems; and a senior robotics software engineer.”
Realtime is currently valued at $130 million.