Tech Giants Invest in Human-like Robot Startup Figure AI


  • Big tech giants like Jeff Bezos and Microsoft are investing $675 million in Figure AI to develop human-like robots for risky tasks.
  • The startup’s Figure 01 robot aims to fill labor shortages by tackling dangerous jobs and attracting investments from major players like Nvidia and Intel.
  • Amidst a booming AI robotics industry, Figure AI’s funding success reflects the growing interest in humanoid robots and their potential impact on various sectors.

Big technology players like Jeff Bezos, Nvidia, Microsoft, and others are making substantial investments in Figure AI, a startup focused on developing human-like robots. The move reflects a growing trend in the tech industry to explore new applications for artificial intelligence (AI). The startup is raising approximately $675 million in funding, with a pre-money valuation of about $2 billion.

Through his firm Explore Investments, Jeff Bezos is contributing $100 million to the funding round, while Microsoft is investing $95 million. Nvidia and an Amazon.com-affiliated fund are each providing $50 million. Other significant backers include Intel’s venture capital arm with $25 million, LG Innotek with $8.5 million, and Samsung’s investment group with $5 million. Parkway Venture Capital and Align Ventures are also among the investors, with Parkway investing $100 million and Align Ventures providing $90 million.

The investment frenzy in Figure AI is part of a broader trend in the AI robotics industry. Notably, OpenAI-backed Norwegian startup 1X Technologies AS secured $100 million earlier this year, while Sanctuary AI is developing a humanoid robot called Phoenix. Tesla, led by Elon Musk, is actively creating a robot named Optimus. The landscape also includes Agility Robotics, backed by Amazon in 2022, currently testing bots in one of the retail giant’s warehouses.

Figure 01: a step towards humanoid commercial utility

At Figure AI, engineers are striving to create Figure 01, a humanoid robot designed to undertake tasks considered too hazardous for humans. The company’s objective is to address labor shortages by deploying AI-driven robots capable of performing high-risk jobs. This aligns with the broader industry drive to leverage AI technology in real-world applications.

Figure AI’s funding history reveals a steady ascent. In May of the previous year, the startup secured $70 million in a funding round led by Parkway. CEO Brett Adcock expressed optimism about being among the first to bring a humanoid robot capable of meaningful commercial activities to the market.

Noteworthy is the involvement of tech titans and visionary leaders in the Figure AI investment round. Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest person, remains actively engaged even after stepping down as Amazon’s CEO in 2021. With a net worth estimated at $197.1 billion, his investment through Explore Investments underscores the significant potential he sees in Figure AI’s endeavors.

Microsoft’s $95 million commitment and Nvidia’s $50 million investment highlight the broader industry recognition of the pivotal role that humanoid robots could play in advancing AI technology. The backing of OpenAI, which considered acquiring Figure AI at one point, further solidifies the startup’s position in the competitive AI robotics landscape.

Future prospects and funding details

Currently, Figure AI is on track to raise $675 million, surpassing the initially sought $500 million. Final details and agreements are expected to be formalized on Monday, with investors, including Bezos, Microsoft, and Nvidia, wiring the funds to Figure AI. The pre-money valuation of around $2 billion reflects the confidence and optimism shared by investors regarding Figure AI’s potential impact on the AI robotics sector.

While the AI robotics industry witnesses a surge in activity, Figure AI stands at the forefront, fueled by substantial investments and a vision to pioneer humanoid robots capable of transformative real-world applications. As the funding round concludes, the industry eagerly awaits the next strides in Figure AI’s journey towards realizing Figure 01 and its potential contributions to addressing labor challenges and enhancing workplace safety.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Brenda Kanana

Brenda Kanana is an accomplished and passionate writer specializing in the fascinating world of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, NFT, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a profound understanding of blockchain technology and its implications, she is dedicated to demystifying complex concepts and delivering valuable insights to readers.

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