Last week, Massachusetts-based robot maker Boston Dynamics announced that it was becoming part of the South Korean Hyundai family, subject to all the usual regulatory requirements and formal approval inherent in international acquisitions. The huge $1.1 billion deal will see Hyundai Motor Group take an 80% stake in the company, with SoftBank controlling the leftover 20%. It’s the latest in a series of notable sales by the Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company SoftBank. In September, SoftBank made the news when it announced the sale of Arm Holdings to NVIDIA for $40 billion.
SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to sell robot maker Boston Dynamics Inc. to Hyundai Motor Co., people familiar with the matter said.Proposed terms of the deal would give the South Korean automaker control of the robotics company in a transaction valued at as much as $1 billion, said one of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The terms have yet to be finalized, and the deal could fall apart, said the people.
Industrial robots and warehouse automation are lucrative intermingling markets, as evidenced by Berkshire Grey. The Lexington, Massachusetts-based company, which combines AI and robotics to automate omnichannel fulfillment for retailers, ecommerce, and logistics enterprises, today announced that it has secured a mammoth $263 million in series B funding led by SoftBank. Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Canaan participated in the round. CEO Tom Wagner says the fresh capital will fuel the startup’s global expansion, acquisitions, and team growth.
Warehouse robotics startup Locus Robotics today announced it has raised $40 million, the bulk of which will be put toward accelerating R&D and the company’s expansion into new markets, including in the EU, where it opened a new headquarters. CEO Rich Faulk says Locus also intends to launch strategic reseller partnerships throughout 2020, following a year in which its number of customer deployments passed 50.
Tom Ryden, executive director of nonprofit MassRobotics, did something last week that’s rare for tech workers these days: he picked up a call not from his living room or home desk, but from his office in the Seaport.
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