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Unchained Robotics raises €5.5m in new funding

Making truly plug-and-play robotics technologies accessible to every company is the goal of Paderborn, Germany-based start-up Unchained Robotics.

The automation platform covers over a dozen robotics manufacturers, finally offering SMEs broad-based access to standard robotics.

The new €5.5 million of capital will continue to fuel their global expansion and deepen their services and partnerships.

Future Industry Ventures, Teklas Ventures, vent.io, and existing investors including well-known business angels in the industry are backing Unchained Robotics’ mission to unlock the future of economic growth and automated manufacturing.

Unchained Robotics aims to use the investment to expand its sales and services, and to serve the booming demand for its new MalocherBot into a wider range of applications.

Mladen Milicevic, co-founder of Unchained Robotics, says: “With the MalocherBot, we have created a unique product that not only makes plug & play automation possible but is already in use worldwide after just a few weeks.

“Thanks to our software platform, the MalocherBot can automate common manual processes in logistics and metalworking in just a few hours.

“With our online platform, we have proven that the search and selection for automation can be made easier, faster, and better. With the MalocherBot, we are now showing that every factory in the world can use robotics and automation.”

Unchained Robotics is an independent platform that enables anyone to find the right automation technology for their company’s manufacturing processes.

In addition to individually configurable solutions, the Paderborn-based start-up also offers complete solutions that are already being used worldwide and have now attracted global interest.

This creates offers that are also financially affordable for SMEs and can be easily implemented in the production process.

Robotics and automation technology is one of the key technologies for the German, European, and global economies to remain competitive in the future.

Robotics can provide support and compensate for the lack of skilled workers. According to a study by Stepstone (Workerlessness), up to 3.7 million people will leave the labor market by 2030 in Germany alone.

According to 69 percent of top managers, consistent automation will help to compensate for this loss. Simple, manual tasks will be reduced in the future so that employees can take on other tasks and new job categories will emerge.

For German SMEs in particular, the use of automation technology is often still too high a barrier to entry. Unchained Robotics wants to change this with its simple, transparent, and independent automation solution.

The Paderborn-based start-up is receiving support from an international consortium. The round was led by Future Industry Ventures, a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Redstone. Moritz Schwarz: “Unchained Robotics impressed us with their understanding of SMEs and their development in recent years. Their automation platform and the MalocherBot clearly show the way toward the democratization of automation. With a global customer network, the company has impressively demonstrated that it is able to help companies in the long term.”

Teklas Ventures, the family office of the entrepreneurial family behind the automotive supplier from Turkey, is also investing.

Owen Reynolds, principal, says: “We are convinced that robotics will find its way into the SME sector, there is no way around it. Unchained Robotics has found a unique way to make robotics easily and affordably accessible to factories worldwide.”

Vent.io, the venture capital subsidiary of Deutsche Leasing Group, has also joined the consortium. Sven Siering, managing director, said: “With broad access to German SMEs and the financing expertise of our parent company, we can help Unchained Robotics to make its robotics solutions accessible to a broad customer base.”

The new investment round was actively supported by existing investors BORN2GROW, Archimedes New Ventures, and the OWL technology fund managed by EnjoyVenture.

Thomas R. Villinger, managing director and founder of Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn & BORN2GROW, says: “Unchained Robotics has developed fantastically in recent years. Intelligent MalocherBots are already being used around the world and we are convinced that current developments in artificial intelligence will make robotics even more prevalent in our society.”

In addition to institutional investors, the start-up is also supported by business angels such as Christian Hülsewig (Schüttflix), Marek Lehmann, Eike Klein (both u+i ventures), Reinhard Rabenstein, and other well-known people from the industrial environment.

Mladen Milicevic, co-founder of Unchained Robotics, says: “We have gained a great mix of experience from SMEs and industry with an international footprint. We will work together to ensure that every factory in the world has searched, found, and integrated the right robot with Unchained Robotics.”

There has recently been news in robotics about the sell-off of technologies developed in Germany. With this financing round, Unchained Robotics is setting an important exclamation mark for the further development of automation in Germany.

The company, which is based in East Westphalia, is not far from industry giants such as Beckhoff, Phoenix Contact, Weidmüller, and Wago and can draw on the favorable conditions of Paderborn as a business location.

Mayor Michael Dreier sees the investment as confirmation of the good infrastructure in Paderborn. He says: “We are delighted that innovative start-ups like Unchained Robotics are based in our university city and find the perfect conditions here to develop sustainably.”

Dr Marco Trienes, managing director of Wirtschaftsförderung (Economic Development) Paderborn, says: “Startups like Unchained Robotics are of great importance for the development of our location, as they both advance future technologies and contribute to strengthening our local economy in the long term.”

Unchained Robotics was founded in Paderborn in 2019 by Kevin Freise and Mladen Milicevic. The OWL Technology Fund has already invested in the robotics company.

Since 2018, the two founders have been working on the idea of making robotics more accessible. University research led to the founding and launch of Unchained Robotics in 2019.

The complicated search and approach to automation in Germany bothered the two founders. It was common to spend several weeks and months searching for a suitable solution until companies were finally able to find the right robot and partner.

In China, Mladen Milicevic experienced a completely different approach and a completely different understanding of automation.

With these impressions, the two founders made it their goal to break down the supposed “rocket science” into simple, usable solutions for the broad SME sector.

Since 2019, more than 200 customers in Germany have already found their way into robotics and automation technology through Unchained Robotics.

Unchained Robotics’ customers include international corporations, leading research institutions, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

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