In May, Path Robotics announced a $ 56 million Series B. This was a huge increase in robotics rounds. But the Columbus, Ohio-based startup is already back for more, raising a “pre-emptive” Series C just two and a half months later.
And that’s a big deal. The company raised $ 100 million, led by Tiger Global and with participation from Silicon Valley Bank, an existing investor. The deal brings the total funding for the robotic welding business to $ 171 million.
Path cites a long-standing shortage of qualified welders as the main driver of interest in its technology. The problem dates back to before the global pandemic (although this likely only exacerbated the problem, as it does with so many other workforce issues). Again, he notes a study by the American Welding Society which indicates that the United States alone will experience a shortage of around 400,000 welding workstations by 2024.
From the sound, the company is already looking beyond welding. After all, construction is a huge business, with huge opportunities for good robotics organization. And, of course, a $ 100 million injection certainly doesn’t hurt your growth plans.
“Most robots just repeat what they are told, with no ability to improve. The future of manufacturing hinges on flexible, high-performance robotics, ”CEO Andrew Lonsberry said in a statement. “Robots that can really see and learn. “
What precisely these future plans are, the company doesn’t say, but it plans to build them on top of its imagery and AI, presumably to create some sort of modular ecosystem for the construction robotics category.
Tiger Global partner Griffin Schroeder alludes to the plans in a statement. “Path’s innovative approach to computer vision and proprietary AI software enables robots to detect, understand and adapt to the challenges of every unique welding project. We believe that this revolutionary technology can be adopted for many other applications and products beyond just welding, in order to serve their customers holistically. “