Formant to Use Latest Funding to Hire Experts for Secure Cloud Robotics Platform

Formant's software is designed to enable business to deploy, grow, and manage robot fleets through a 'single pane of glass.'


Formant's software for managing mobile robot fleets running on two monitors.
Formant, which received funding from BMW i Ventures, Intel Capital, and GS Futures, said its cloud platform delivers the data backbone to power large robot fleets.

Formant today announced the completion of a $21 million funding round. The San Francisco-based company said it plans to use the proceeds to expand hiring across all departments, introduce new products and features, and accelerate growth.

Roboticists from Google and Savioke founded Formant in 2016. Its cloud platform is designed to help robotics businesses deploy, grow, and manage their fleets. The company said it “delivers a secure data platform to operate fleets of robots at any scale through a single pane of glass.”

“Formant is uniquely positioned to meet the business objectives and technical requirements of large enterprise companies operating at global scale looking to expand their robotics footprint,” said Jeff Linnell, co-founder and CEO of Formant. “Our platform now powers tens of thousands of production robots around the world across dozens of different industries.”

Formant marks year of growth

This latest fundraising came after a year of record growth for Formant, which reported a revenue increase of more than 500% year over year. The company credited “the accelerating adoption of intelligent robots across large organizations.”

Jeff Linnell, Formant

Jeff Linnell, CEO of Formant

Formant said much of that growth came from blue-chip enterprises such as Blue River Technology (a subsidiary of John Deere) and BP, as well as industry leaders like Burro, Scythe, and Knightscope. The company added that it has released new products, integrated enterprise-grade tools, and annouced several product integrations and account-management features.

Earlier this year, Formant launched Theopolis, an artificial intelligence language interface to enable non-technical users to interact directly with robot data and build visualizations inside its software.

“In the ever-evolving landscape of robotics and AI integration, Formant stands ready to take center stage,” said Kate MeLynda, president of Formant. “As industries embrace large-scale automation, the role of data becomes paramount in fleet optimization and AI model training.”

“Formant's cutting-edge platform simplifies the collection and management of robot data on a grand scale, ushering in a new era where AI seamlessly enhances physical automation,” she added.

The company's stated mission is “to underpin the intersection of robotics and AI for enterprises and robotics companies.” To help teams get the most out of every robot, Formant claimed that it supports easy integrations with tools such as ROS 2, NVIDIA’s Isaac simulator, and Clearpath’s Outdoor Navigation.

Formant dashboard

The Formant dashboard for remotely operating Boston Dynamics' Spot quadruped robot. Click on image to enlarge. Source: Formant

BMW i Ventures leads round

BMW i Ventures led Formant's investment, with participation from new investors Intel Capital, GS Futures. Previous investors, including SignalFire, Hillsven, Pelion Ventures, Holman, Ericsson, Goodyear Ventures, PICUS Capital, and Thursday Ventures, also participated.

“Autonomous robotic systems have broken free from R&D departments and are now being deployed at scale to drive business outcomes and resilient operations,” said Kasper Sage, managing partner at BMW i Ventures.

“Their proliferation across mission-critical functions, as well as support tasks for humans in various industries underscores the urgent need for seamless data management and orchestration across robotic endpoints,” he added. “Formant is the operating system underpinning the future of the automated enterprise.”

BMW i Ventures is the independent venture capital firm of BMW Group, investing in startups defining the future of mobility, supply chain, and sustainability. The firm said it invests in all stages, from seed to growth, with a focus on Series A and B.

In addition, BMW i Ventures said it has successfully invested in companies such as Blackmore, ChargePoint, CelLink, Fox Robotics, GaN Systems, Plus One Robotics, Our Next Energy, Tekion, and Xometry.

Formant illustrates its data and operations platform, which is intended to enable robots and humans to work together seamlessly.

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Formant's software for managing mobile robot fleets running on two monitors.

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