SoftBank Vision Fund leads $36m funding for robotics firm Brain Corp

Brain Corp, a US-based AI company specialising in self-driving technology for cleaning robots, raised $36 million in a Series D funding led by existing investor SoftBank Vision Fund.

The company said it will use the fresh capital to further develop its AI technology and bring its cleaning robots to retailers, healthcare centres, airports, schools, and others, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding round was joined by new investors ClearBridge Investments and Satwik Ventures, and return backer Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of mobile technology giant Qualcomm Inc.

Brain Corp plans to expand its robotics technology beyond floor care. It eyes introducing robotic applications into inventory delivery, shelf analytics, and other areas that improve productivity and enhance customer experiences, it said.

Based in San Diego, California, the company said the foundation of Brain technology is Brain OS, its proprietary operating system used in floor-scrubbing robots, including those manufactured by Tennant, Karcher, Nilfisk, and others.

“BrainOS has computer vision and AI libraries that enable quick and efficient development of smart systems that learn and adapt to people and environment,” the company said.

Brain’s technology enables robots to perceive their environment, learn to control their motion, and navigate using visual cues and landmarks while avoiding people and obstacles.

About 10,000 floor-scrubbing machines powered by BrainOS have been deployed worldwide.

The company recently launched a Robot Relief programme, under which it provides autonomous floor cleaning robots for three months at no charge to help essential businesses, including hospitals and grocery stores, sanitise their properties during the pandemic.

SoftBank Vision Fund first invested in Brain Corp’s $114 million Series C funding round in 2017.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.