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Robotic Research drives a $228M Series A for its autonomous driving tech


Robotic Research has announced its first-ever external funding round, securing $228 million in Series A funding. The investment was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Enlightenment Capital, and joined by Crescent Cove Advisors, Henry Crown and Company, and Luminar Technologies, Inc.

Having had significant success in the public sector, the funding is planned to support the continued development and expansion of Robotic Research’s commercial division, RR.AI, which focuses on autonomous driving for commercial vehicles.

Softbank, as one of the leading funders, highlighted Robotic Research’s history and potential. Its Senior Vice President, Akshay Neheta, noted, “Robotic Research has a track record of operating in the commercial sector and has built a differentiated autonomy solution by focusing on tangible, revenue-generating opportunities. We are thrilled to be a financial partner and provide resources needed to accelerate the commercialisation of Robotic Research’s solutions.”

Previous successes

Robotic Research came to the funding round with an impressive track record. The business has already been developing autonomous systems for the US Government and defence sector for over two decades, as well as for clients around the world. And, unlike other systems, they were able to manage off-road as well as on-road situations.

Their AutoDrive system is intended to be vehicle-agnostic, creating the potential for any vehicle to be autonomous in any environment. Alberto Lacaze, Robotic Research’s CEO, says that AutoDrive is, “a proven solution that is not only rugged, safe, and reliable, but also versatile and ideal for operating across a variety of environments, weather conditions, and use cases.”

AutoDrive represents the highest level of autonomy possible for a vehicle, allowing it to operate without driver oversight in any terrain. And the technology has already been integrated into a range of vehicles, including as part of North America’s first automated heavy-duty transit bus.

A first for Luminar

The investment is also notable because it is the first strategic investment made by Luminar. Luminar is one of the world’s leaders in providing lidar hardware and software, essential for autonomous vehicles that need to have a detailed picture of their surroundings.

The investment marks the start of a long-term strategic partnership and offers both companies the opportunity to be at the forefront of advances in autonomous vehicles.

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