Southie Autonomy, a developer of intelligent robotic automation, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by BootstrapLabs, a venture capital firm focused on applied artificial intelligence, and with the participation of Ocean Azul.
Kineo Finance participated in the equity round and is providing an additional $5 million in venture leasing to support Southie’s disruptive robot-as-a-service business model.
Supply chain disruption and labor shortages have spotlighted the need for increased automation. However, many existing solutions are too costly, complex and time-consuming to changeover within highly dynamic manufacturing, warehousing and distribution environments.
Southie Autonomy’s solution provides fast and flexible automation, creating a turnkey cell that can adapt to fluctuating demands and improve efficiency and margins.
With Southie Autonomy’s no-code robotic arm software solution, manufacturers no longer need additional programming and engineering expertise to integrate and manage the automation.
The platform utilizes artificial intelligence and augmented reality to automate highly variable contract packaging activities spanning kitting, packing to palletization, enabling daily line changeovers.
The robotic arm can be configured within minutes eliminating the setup burden and can operate safely beside workers. The software is compatible with any robotic hardware and is currently being deployed by a handful of customers.
Southie Autonomy, based in the MassRobotics collaboration space in Boston, was founded in 2018 by Draper alumni Rahul Chipalkatty and Jay M. Wong.
The capital will help accelerate customer acquisition and build out the network of distribution partners. In addition, Southie Autonomy will scale its operations and expand the commercial and technical team. BootstrapLabs will join the board of Southie Autonomy.
Rahul Chipalkatty, founder and CEO, Southie Autonomy, says: “We are thrilled to have investors that are pioneers in understanding how AI is changing our world and their support will enable Southie Autonomy to scale rapidly.
“Our mission is to unlock the potential of robotic automation, removing the long-established barriers to adoption, cost, and complexity. Supply chain providers and manufacturers now have a turnkey solution to help overcome labor challenges.”
Benjamin Levy, co-founder and general partner, BootstrapLabs, says: “Until now, it was very expensive and complex to reprogram robots to perform different tasks, causing the automation ROI to plummet.
“With Southie’s innovative AI-powered robotic automation platform, it only takes minutes, and no coding is required.
“This is a pivotal moment for the industry, and with its Robot-as-a-Service business model, Southie is poised to accelerate the adoption of collaborative robots across new industries and types of organizations.”