Orbotix geared for more growth with $15.5 million funding round
Last Updated: 17:33 May 5, 2014
Boulder-based Orbotix, maker of the Sphero robotic ball that can be controlled with a smartphone, recently raised $15.5 million in a round led by California-based Shea Ventures. Boulder-based Foundry Group, which had invested previously in Orbotix, also participated along with Grishin Robotics.
Orbotix, a Techstars graduate, has now raised $32.6 million in venture capital since its founding in 2010.
Co-founder and chief technology officer Ian Bernstein said the new funding will help the company, along with other toymakers in the space like Anki and Parrot, define the category of connected toys, where consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotic hardware meet.
“We want an aisle in Target that’s all of this stuff in this new category,” Bernstein said.
Orbotix doesn’t disclose revenue figures. But Bernstein said the company has 42 employees and could grow by 10 to 15 over the next six months as the company builds out its sales team and continues developing new products.
Orbotix’s next offering is Ollie, a cylinder-shaped robot that can race around at 14 feet per second and perform tricks in the air.
Ollie will be available in the fall. Without divulging specifics, Bernstein said Orbotix is working on a number of other different products, looking at various traditional toys with an eye toward putting the company’s “connected twist” on them to make them interactive.
“We want to bring that experience to other tangible toys from the past,” Bernstein said.
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