Ati Motors today announced that its Series A funding round has closed at $10.85 million (U.S.). The Bengaluru, India-based company said the investment will further accelerate the development and deployment of its robots for warehouses and industrial environments.
“The autonomous robots space is brimming with immense opportunities, and we’re at the forefront of this revolution as we transform industrial operations,” said Saurabh Chandra, CEO of Ati Motors. “This funding will fuel our expansion into new markets and industries. With the support of our investors who share our vision, we’re well-positioned to continue pushing the boundaries of robotics technology and meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
The demand for mobile robots is rapidly increasing, driven by the need for efficient and flexible solutions in a changing world, according to Ati Motors. The company said its robots have demonstrated their ability to reduce costs, optimize workflows, and improve safety and competitiveness in various industries.
At a product launch event, Ati Motors team showed new AMR models designed to enhance productivity and efficiency across various sectors. It said its robots were inspired by self-driving cars in terms of how they combine artificial intelligence, computer vision, and hardware to perform complex tasks in dynamic environments.
Ati CTO Naveen Arulselvan (left) and CEO Saurabh Chandra (right) with the new Sherpa Tug. Source: Ati Motors.
The new Sherpa Tug v4 is a 1-ton trolley mover capable of navigating inside factories as well as outdoors.
“The Sherpa Pivot is a completely new vehicle architecture we are launching with a modular chassis that can be customized as per the application,” Chandra told Robotics 24/7. “It can carry bins, mount a robotic arm, or work as a flexible assembly line carrying, for example, a bike from station to station.”
Ati Motors said it has found a strong-product market fit within automotive and electrical manufacturing. The company named Bosch, TVS Motors, CEAT, and Hyundai as some of its key customers across India and the U.S.
Investors support Indian innovation
Ati Motors previously raised $3.5 million in Pre-series A funding in 2021. The company has also received seed funding from Village Global, an early-stage fund based in the Bay Area and backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, among others.
Ati was undaunted by recent economic challenges as it sought investment, said Chandra.
“A lot of startups with unproven business models have gone out of the consideration set of investors,” he said. “I felt that it got a bit easier for companies like us that have healthy unit economics and a demonstrated product-market fit.”
True Ventures led Ati's Series A round, and new investor Althera Venture Partners joined existing investors Blume Ventures, Exfinity Ventures, and MFV Partners in the funding.
“Ati Motors has developed a remarkable platform that has the potential to revolutionize multiple sectors,” said Rohit Sharma, a partner at True Ventures. “We’re excited to lead this funding round and support the Ati Motors team in their mission to deploy intelligent robots to solve complex challenges in industrial applications today. This team, combined with a relentless focus on innovation, positions them as a key player in the autonomous robotics space.”
Silicon Valley-based True Ventures invests in early-stage technology startups. Its True Platform offers programs to inspire professional and personal growth. To date, the venture capital firm said it has helped more than 350 companies launch and scale their businesses, creating more than 85,000 jobs worldwide.
“We are pleased to back Saurabh and his team at Ati,” added Parag Dhol, a partner at Athera Ventures. “The team’s ability to design autonomous robots that operate in demanding manufacturing environments is a testament to the availability of multidisciplinary skills in the Indian start-up ecosystem. We look forward to working with the Ati team to create a leading robotics company from India.”
Formerly Inventus India, Athera Venture Partners has has more than 35 years of operating and entrepreneurial experience, as well as over 60 years of early-stage venture experience. Its team has backed more than 60 Indian technology startups in their venture careers.
Ati Motors aims for new markets
Ati Motors said it will use the latest funding to expand in markets including the U.S., Mexico, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Europe. The startup also plans to explore opportunities across the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, maritime, and injection-molding sectors.
When asked about which sectors have expressed the most interest in Ati's systems, Chanda replied: “Automotive OEMs and component makers—especially the tire industry—have an especially strong interest.”
How are the U.S. and Indian markets different?
“We had imagined the Indian market to be very tough, given the abundance of labor, but the healthy demand here has been a positive surprise,” said Chandra. “Factories of top-tier brands tend to be very similar globally, so the environments are alike. The value proposition is of course much stronger in the U.S., given the huge shortage of workers.”
In addition, Ati Motors plans to continue to invest in research and development.
“We have a 1-acre integrated design, development, and manufacturing facility that is very capable of handling the production,” Chandra noted. “Also, as a deep-tech company, we believe in having an outsized impact with a compact team. So mostly the funding will go into sales expansion.”
Introducing the new autonomous mobile robot from Ati Motors: Sherpa Tug v4.
About the Author
Eugene DemaitreEugene Demaitre was editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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Ati Motors has continued developing variants on its Sherpa Tug, including the Sherpa Pivot.
Founded in 2017, Ati Motors has an interdisciplinary team of about 30 engineers across machine learning and AI, power electronics, control systems, mechanical engineering, system software, and electronic hardware. The company has developed the Sherpa family of autonomous mobile robots, including Sherpa Tug, which has a payload of up...