Amazon-backed robotics startup Labrador Systems secures $2M in pre-seed funding to pioneer a new generation of personal robots
Labrador Systems, a robotics startup pioneering a new generation of personal robots to improve the quality of life for millions of people, has closed a $2M Pre-Seed round led by SOSV’s hardware accelerator HAX, in partnership with Centrica Hive, with participation from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, iRobot Ventures and iD Ventures America.
Founded in 2017 by Mike Dooley and Nikolai Romanov, the Los Angeles, California-based Labrador Systems is an early stage technology company developing a new generation of assistive robots to help people live more independently. The company’s core focus is creating affordable solutions that address practical and physical needs at a fraction of the cost of commercial robots. Labrador’s personal robot, the company’s first offering, will enter pilot studies in 2020.
Labrador co-founders Mike Dooley and Nikolai Romanov are veterans of the robotics industry and have introduced millions of robots into households on a global scale. Their company is pioneering a new generation of assistive robots to empower seniors and others to live more independently and provide a new platform for supporting home health. The investment will be used to expand development of Labrador’s platform and conduct pilot studies with partners in 2020.
“We’re seeing an increase in life expectancy while the number of individuals age 65 and older in the U.S. alone is projected to reach 98 million by 2060,” says Cyril Ebersweiler, a General Partner at SOSV. “Elder care robots will become commonplace in society thanks to the simplicity and versatility of the Labrador platform.”
Further, the nationwide shortage of caregivers continues to present a significant challenge for families as well as the health care industry. Labrador’s technology platform offers an affordable solution to improve the quality of care while promoting independence and successful aging.
“We’ve heard so many stories about how Alexa helps aging customers feel more independent or more connected with friends and family, and voice becomes even more useful when combined with new categories of devices and other forms of ambient computing,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Mike and Nikolai are two of the most well respected leaders in advanced consumer-grade robotics, and we were impressed by their utilitarian vision for how assistive robots can improve quality of life for people aging in place. We’re excited to work with them on making Alexa part of that experience.”