Jibo Inc., the company behind family robot Jibo, has completed a round of venture capital funding that brought in $25.3 million, which it will use to expand its workforce and build its first batch of family robots. RRE Ventures led the round, which included Flybridge Capital Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Formation 8, Samsung Ventures, CRV and several angel investors.
In July, Jibo launched a crowdfunding campaign that saw record-breaking interest on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, with funding quickly soaring past an initial goal of $100,000 in less than four hours. When that campaign round ended in September, Jibo had managed to raise more than $2.2 million, with 4,800 initial units pre-sold.
With the newly raised funds, the company plans to fulfill the first orders placed through the crowdfunding campaign. And it’s also looking to expand its team to focus on software, hardware and cloud development.
Jibo will begin shipping the first units late this year or early next year, but it plans to release virtual simulator units to developers sooner so they can test their code before the first physical models are released.
In addition to Jibo’s latest funding round, Cynthia Breazeal, Jibo founder and director of the Personal Robots Group at MIT Media Lab, has named executive chairman Steve Chambers as CEO of Jibo Inc. Before Jibo, Chambers’ held the role of president at Nuance Communications, the technology company behind dictation software Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Breazeal will retain her role in Jibo as chief scientist.
“As we look to grow Jibo, Inc., in the coming year, Steve is the perfect choice to build the business infrastructure for this new breed of consumer robotics company,” Breazeal said. “Steve can focus on building relationships with other pioneers across industries while I bring together the most creative minds in user interaction and social robotics to make what seem like futuristic dreams into real-world possibilities.”