Kinova Raises $48M to Commercialize Robots for Medical, Manufacturing Markets

Kinova has received funding from Canadian government and Graham Partners venture capital for light robot arms.


Kinova's Gen3 light industrial robot arm.
Kinova has received venture capital from Graham Partners and funding from the Canadian government to commercialize cobots, increase its engineering staff, and develop new products.

Kinova Inc., which has developed lightweight robot arms for the medical and manufacturing industries, today announced that it has closed investments totaling $48 million (U.S.). The Boisbriand, Quebec-based company said it plans to use the investments to accelerate the development and commercialization of its technologies.

Graham Partners led CAD 40 million ($32 million U.S.) in investment, with the participation of Export Development Canada (EDC). Kinova also reported the closing of a prior agreement with the Canadian government under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) for a total of CAD 20 million ($16 million U.S.).

Founded in 2006, Kinova designs and manufactures medical robots, assistive devices, and systems for research and education, as well as industrial and professional automation. The privately held company said its technology extends the capabilities of customers with a human-first approach to serve the growing need for robotics across increasingly complex applications.

Graham Partners shares expertise

“Kinova is expected to benefit from Graham Partners' deep domain expertise in medical and industrial technology, as well as experience deploying automation solutions across its portfolio of advanced manufacturing and industrial technology businesses,” said Charles Deguire, president and CEO of Kinova. “Graham Partners will leverage its industry resources, operational expertise, and commercial knowledge to support Kinova's growth.”

Founded in 1988 by Steven Graham, Graham Partners focuses on innovators in technology innovations resulting in product substitutions, raw materials conversions, and disruptions to traditional end markets. The private investment firm has closed more than 140 acquisitions, joint ventures, financings, and divestitures.

The committed capital raised since inception through the Graham Partners funds, together with Graham-led co-investments, totals approximately $3.6 billion, which differs from regulatory assets under management. The Newtown Square, Pa.-based firm said it has access to extensive operating resources and industrial expertise.

Graham Partners is a member of The Graham Group, an alliance of independent operating businesses, investment firms, and philanthropic entities, which all share in the common legacy of entrepreneur Donald Graham.

“We believe Kinova's cobot technology and expertise in both medical and industrial applications is unique in the robotics industry,” said Dennis Dunegan, managing principal of Graham Partners. “We are excited to leverage our expertise to help drive value creation and growth at Kinova.” 

“We are excited to have Graham Partners and EDC as shareholders,” added Marc Belanger, chief financial officer of Kinova. “They will allow Kinova to continue its impressive international growth both organically as well as through acquisitions.”

The company was supported on the transaction by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP as legal counsel. Dechert LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal counsel to the investors.

Canada invests in innovation

“Canadians are developing innovative solutions to real-world problems, and our government will always be there to support them,” stated François-Philippe Champagne, Canada's minister of innovation, science, and industry.

“Kinova's robotic products demonstrate this type of innovation, and we're proud to support them as they scale up manufacturing, create high quality jobs, and help grow Canada's global leadership in the next generation of robots,” he said.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed. It said it provides businesses with expertise in international risk, as well as trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections.

In addition to helping commercialize its systems including collaborative robots, Kinova said it will use its latest investments to augment engineering resources to meet the demands of global customers. The company said it will announce more industrial products later this year.

In this quick tutorial, see how to use the Kinova Lift Arm to position Jaco in the utmost compact position under a wheelchair arm.

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Kinova's Gen3 light industrial robot arm.

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