Kinova, a Canadian designer and manufacturer of robotic solutions, has secured $25 million in funding. The investment was led by Fonds Manufacturier Québécois, a fund sponsored by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. It was joined by South Korea’s KTB Network, Taiwan’s Foxconn and BDC Capital‘s Growth and Transition Capital. Based in Boisbriand, Québec, Kinova develops robotics platforms to empower people with disabilities and support industrial safety and efficiency. It will use the funds raised to pursue R&D, including in the medical robotics field, sales and marketing, and production. Founded in 2006, Kinova is led by CEO Charles Deguire.
Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau high fives a Kinova robotic hand, March 2017.
Kinova secures significant funding to invest in accelerating company growth and innovation
BOISBRIAND, QC, Sept. 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Kinova ®, a designer and manufacturer of robotic solutions, has received funds totaling $25 million from four major contributors, including lead investor Fonds Manufacturier Québécois S.E.C. II; co-investors KTB Network Co., Ltd. (South Korea) and Foxconn (Taiwan); and BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC (Canada).
We want our users to achieve the extraordinary with our robots – creating more value for themselves and our society,” said Kinova CEO Charles Deguire. “The financial support, broad expertise and geographic coverage of our experienced partners gives us additional resources to accelerate our growth, quickly and strategically establish our presence in new markets, develop an extended line of breakthrough products, and propel our advanced manufacturing capabilities.”
“We want our users to achieve the extraordinary with our robots — creating more value for themselves and our society,” said Kinova CEO Charles Deguire. “The financial support, broad expertise and geographic coverage of our experienced partners gives us additional resources to accelerate our growth, quickly and strategically establish our presence in new markets, develop an extended line of breakthrough products, and propel our advanced manufacturing capabilities.”
Partnering with investment advisory firm Keira Capital Partners Inc., which helped Kinova facilitate the fundraising process, the company was able to solidify major Canadian and international backing to help it continue shaping a promising future. Each investor in this geographically diverse group brings an element of complementary experience necessary to mentor Kinova’s growth.
“We’re thrilled to be investing in this world leader in human assistance robotics, and to have the opportunity to share our expertise in business development and operations optimization. By doing so, we’ll be able to support the company’s growth plans,” said Jean Rochette and Marc Dufresne, partners at FMQ.
“We are very impressed in the leadership and vision of Kinova in human collaboration robotics and are proud to support such an innovative company,” said HoChan Lee, KTB Network’s managing director.
“Foxconn sees strategic value working with Kinova and is exploring collaborations in various robotic fields,” according to a statement from the Corporate Investment Division at Foxconn Technology Group/Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
“We are proud to support Kinova, a highly innovative Canadian company with a mission to provide life-changing service robots to people. Our financial support will enable this young and dynamic team to continue investments in research and development, all while enabling them to realize their ambitious growth plan,” said Jean-Philippe Poissant, Director, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital.
Collectively, these sizeable funding contributions will enable Kinova — one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies, as recently documented by Canadian Business’s PROFIT 500 list — to further accelerate its growth in three specific areas:
Research, development and product innovation
This investment will allow Kinova to pursue and pioneer new advancements in its range of products, further propelling the human cause. In turn, people will be given better opportunities to accomplish extraordinary feats beyond their own limits.
Part of Kinova’s specific strategy is to play a leading role in medical robotics, which will include pursuing its quest to gain acceptance of new technologies in more conservative markets.
“We firmly believe that our technology and expertise can help improve patient care,” Deguire said. “We are looking to build partnerships with hospitals, governments and other players in the industry so that our products contribute to the healing of patients.”
Sales, marketing and expansion
Exporting is responsible for over 90% of Kinova’s business. In order to better supply the world with its technologies, the next logical step in the company’s development is to continue opening offices outside of Canada, notably in Asia and the United States, which becomes easier to accomplish with these funds. Most recently, Kinova established a new office in Germany earlier in 2017.
With this new funding, Kinova expects to accelerate the research on its own production efficiency through digitization and robotization of its operations. The company’s intention is to reduce its production costs, while increasing both the quality and timeliness of its output, taking “Factory 4.0” to new heights.
Kinova is a Canadian company that operates worldwide. Kinova designs and manufactures robotic solutions that are simple to use, versatile and, above all, meant to increase human capabilities through responsible, respectful uses of technology. Kinova empowers people living with upper-body mobility impairments to have freedom of movement, professionals and universities to drive their research forward, and health-care professionals to provide better outcomes for their patients.
About Fonds Manufacturier Québécois S.E.C. II
With over $200 million in capital and sponsorship from the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Fonds Manufacturier Québécois helps Quebec’s manufacturing businesses grow organically and through acquisition to optimize their performance. FMQ combines the financial knowledge of Caisse de dépôt with the operational skills of experienced managers. Thus, we offer assistance and expertise in business development, operations management and financial management to Quebec’s manufacturing entrepreneurs to help them realize their projects. For more information, please consult www.fondsmanufacturier.com or visit our LinkedIn page.
About KTB Network Co., Ltd.
KTB Network was founded in 1981 as the first Venture Capital in Korea and has been active venture investor in Korea, China, US and Canada. Throughout KTB’s over 35 years of history, KTB has invested in over 3,000 startups in technology and healthcare sectors, of which over 300 went on to list on several stock exchanges, accounting for over 10% of Korean IPOs. KTB Network also has affiliated entities in Private Equity, Asset Management and Investment Banking, serving the financing needs of various stages of companies.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. / Foxconn Technology Group and its subsidiaries are primarily engaged in the manufacture, sales and service of connectors, case, thermal module, wired/wireless communication products, optical products, power supply modules, and assemblies for use in the IT, communications, automotive equipment, precision molding, automobile and consumer electronics industries.
About BDC Capital
With more than $2 billion under management, BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, serving as a strategic partner to Canada’s most innovative and high-potential firms. It offers a range of equity, venture capital and flexible growth, and transition capital solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs scale their businesses into global champions. To find out more, visit bdc.ca/capital.
About Keira Capital Partners Inc.
Keira Capital is a registered independent exempt market securities dealer with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers of Quebec. Keira focuses on the transactional issues of Canadian companies, both nationally and internationally, with the help of a team of innovative professionals, all of whom have significant experience in business and financial transactions.
For further information: Nathalie Tremblay, Senior Marketing Director, 514-277-3777, [email protected]
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Christinne Muschi