Grishin Robotics raises $100 mln fund for robotics, hardware, IoT


Grishin Robotics, whose mission when it launched four years ago was to bring personal robotics technologies into homes worldwide, has raised $100 million for its second venture fund.

The new fund is four times the size of its inaugural $25 million effort. And the larger Fund II allows the firm to participate in bigger rounds, late-stage deals and follow-on financings as opportunities arise, said founder Dmitry Grishin, who was the sole investor in the first fund.

He wouldn’t disclose LPs, but the second fund was raised from institutional and individual investors from Europe and the United States.

“People were skeptical of a robotics-only fund in 2012 when we launched,” said Grishin, who is also co-founder and chief executive of Moscow-based Internet company Mail.Ru Group. “But we’ve seen a thousand-plus companies in the general hardware space in the last few years, and the market is continuing to grow.”

Grishin, who also invested in the latest fund, added that the firm remains focused on Series A and B deals and will look to invest $10 million per company.

In addition, with the new fund the firm will expand its sector focus to include not just pure robotics but hardware and the Internet of Things, such as 3D printing and home automation.

Fund I backed 12 companies, all U.S.-based, such as Spire and Double Robotics, maker of a mobile telepresence robot that has been featured on episodes of “Modern Family” and “Community.”

There have been no exits, although Grishin told PE Hub that there have been a lot of up rounds.

The second fund has already made its first investment, backing Ring, a Santa Monica, California-based home automation and security company. In March Ring raised a $61.2 million Series C round from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sir Richard Branson and others.

Grishin said Fund II, which plans to expand its presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, is also looking at backing more deals in Europe, where he sees a growing hardware presence.

As part of its international expansion, joining the firm is partner Verdi Israelyan, who’s been an executive with Mail.ru since 2010 and before that was a partner with the investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He will be based out of London, but is expected to travel a lot to the United States.

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