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EDBI invests in US robotics company

EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, has joined Intel Capital and Northern Light Venture Capital in providing US$15 million in Series A financing for robotics company Savioke.

The Santa Clara, California-based company is creating autonomous robots for the services industry, including Relay, which is the world's first autonomous hotel delivery robot.

Savioke aims to improve the lives of people by developing and deploying robotic technology in human environments, according to Steve Cousins, Savioke's CEO. The company was founded in 2013.

Mr Cousins said that for decades robots have been too complex, too expensive, and not safe enough to co-exist in human environments. "The time has finally come when robots are going to be at our beck and call, and for our robots in the hospitality industry we mean that quite literally," he added.

Savioke will use the funding to expand sales, marketing and product developments for its award winning Relay robot. This round brings the total raised to date to US$17.6 million, following its seed investment from Morado Venture Partners, AME Cloud Ventures, Google Ventures, and additional individual investors.

Chu Swee Yeok, EDBI's CEO and president, said the organisation was pleased to support Savioke's activities in Singapore to advance the application of innovative robotics technology in the local services industry, and realise Singapore's vision as a Smart Nation.

"Singapore's progressive technology environment, together with our deep talent pool and vibrant ecosystem, is well positioned to accelerate Savioke's growth plans in Asia with EDBI's assistance and connections in the region," the official added.