Boston Roundup: Infinio, Rethink Robotics, Boston Dynamics
Fundraising, layoff, and acquisition news from around the IT software and robotics sectors in the past few days:
—Infinio, a Cambridge, MA-based IT software developer, says it has raised a $12 million Series B investment. The money comes from existing backers, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Osage University Partners. The startup started selling its first product earlier this year: software that helps corporate IT departments make their server storage more efficient. Inifino has now raised about $24 million in total venture investment, including a $10 million Series A round in February.
—Rethink Robotics, the Boston-based humanoid manufacturing robotics startup founded by iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) co-founder Rod Brooks, has laid off about 20 people. The news was reported by Boston.com, which quotes CEO Scott Eckert saying the layoffs are due to Rethink focusing on a few market segments that have been stronger buyers of the company’s “Baxter” robots. The company has raised more than $73 million since its founding in 2008.
—Boston Dynamics, a maker of robots with animal-inspired ways of moving across rough terrain, has been acquired by Google for an undisclosed price. The news was announced in The New York Times, which also was Google’s venue for revealing that it had acquired more than a half-dozen robotics startups in a new effort headed by Android smartphone software co-founder Andy Rubin. No word on what Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) plans to do with Boston Dynamics, which has so far been making a lot of robots and prototypes for military research. Generally, the company’s new robotics push is seen as a possible way of ramping up delivery or manufacturing tasks—it has also been working on self-driving cars, for instance. Here’s a video of one of the Waltham company’s crazy hill-climbing bots: