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Clearpath Robotics raises $30M to expand indoor self-driving vehicle market

Clearpath Robotics, a provider of self-driving vehicle solutions, completed a US$30-million investment led by iNovia Capital with participation from Caterpillar Ventures, GE Ventures, Eclipse Ventures, RRE Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. Clearpath will use the funding to grow the company’s industrial division, OTTO Motors, launched in 2015 to focus on self-driving vehicles for material transport inside manufacturing and warehouse operations.

Factories operate like small indoor cities, complete with roads, traffic, intersections and pedestrians. Unlike city streets, a factory floor is a controlled environment, which makes it an ideal place to introduce self-driving vehicles at scale. Companies like Google, Tesla and Uber are still testing, whereas our self-driving vehicles are commercially available today.

The market for self-driving passenger vehicles will be over $80 billion by 2030. We believe the market for self-driving materials handling vehicles will be equally significant.

—Matt Rendall, CEO and co-founder of Clearpath

The Clearpath OS enables vehicles to move using onboard sensors only. Companies including GE and John Deere have deployed OTTO’s material handling equipment in their facilities. OTTO comes in two payload capacities, 100 kg or 1500 kg.

Clearpath previously raised US$11.2 million in a January 2015 Series A round led by RRE Ventures with participation from iNovia Capital, GE Ventures and Eclipse Ventures to develop their OTTO product line.

Clearpath’s founders established the company, which officially launched in 2009, by participating in a US Department of Defense-funded robotics competition to design a robot that could detect and remove land mines. With help from a $300,000 angel investment the following year, the team pivoted from mine removal to providing unmanned vehicle development platforms for the global research community. After launching the first OTTO product in September 2015, Clearpath established its OTTO Motors division to focus on self-driving vehicles for materials handling.


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