Cobalt Robotics secures $35M

Series B funding with Coatue will expand Robots-as-a-Service in U.S.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

SAN MATEO, Calif.— Cobalt Robotics, a physical security service provider that builds indoor autonomous robots, announced that it has raised $35 million in Series B financing led by global technology investment firm, Coatue.

“Our newest round of funding enables Cobalt to expand our footprint in new geographic locations and provide robots to more customers throughout the United States,” Cobalt CEO Dr. Travis Deyle told Security Systems News. “Our business model is designed to provide customers with quick and reliable service for upgrades and maintenance. As such, it’s important that we focus on key geographic markets to ensure top-level customer service.”

Cobalt CEO Dr. Travis Deyle (on Left) and CTO Erik Schluntz

In the announcement of the new round of funding, Deyle explained that security “is fundamentally about trust and reputation, and it needs to be reinforced across all aspects of the company: founders, employees, technology and financial backers. Our financial backers — such as Bloomberg Beta, Sequoia Capital, and now Coatue — have been instrumental to our success so far, and they will be instrumental in our next phase of growth too. Our goal is to combine the best parts of machines (unwavering attention, perfect recall, and super-human sensing) with the best aspects of people (warmth, responsiveness, and adaptability) to create service robots that dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone and fundamentally redefine the modern workplace.”

With the physical security market predicted to reach nearly $119.4 billion in 2023, Cobalt said that security robots enhance security programs by bridging the gap between traditional technologies and services such as cameras, access control and manned guards. Cobalt’s Robots-as-a-Service model combines autonomous patrolling robots with human specialists, enabling organizations to provide a 24-hour security solution that complements existing security assets like manned security guards and access control systems (ACS). The result is a highly effective security program with significant cost-savings and robots that remain up-to-date with the latest and greatest software, Cobalt noted.

Since its $13 million Series A funding announcement in March 2018, Cobalt has deployed security and facilities management services to clients in various sectors (technology, defense, finance, and manufacturing) across a variety of organizational sizes (small startups to marquee Fortune 50 companies). This year, Cobalt introduced its new door integration capability that enables robots to seamlessly pass through areas closed off by a door using wireless technology to communicate with access control readers — a first for the industry, the company said. In addition to its client base, Cobalt has expanded its engineering and operations teams and enhanced its security and facilities teams.

Cobalt’s robots patrol the workplace, leveraging AI to detect anomalies — open doors, environmental risks or malicious intruders — and then Cobalt’s security specialists can respond in real-time to address any event, whether it’s related to security, facilities or customer service. This unique human-in-the-loop model has enabled Cobalt to position itself as a key player in the physical security arena.

“We believe Cobalt’s robotic security guards are revolutionizing the security services space and providing an unmatched experience for customers,” Kris Fredrickson, partner at Coatue, said in the announcement. “In addition, we have been thoroughly impressed with the team’s philosophy that a great physical security service should positively impact not only the company’s operations but its culture as a whole.”

In addition to driving our U.S. expansion efforts, Deyle said Cobalt is also expanding its research and development team and ramping up its security robot production and capabilities to expedite delivery. “It’s critical that our security robots continue to evolve and add capabilities that prove beneficial to our customers,” he said. “One key example is the development of Cobalt Access, which enables robots to pass through closed doors. Developed last year, this is now fully integrated into all of our robots.”

Overall, Cobalt’s growth is strong, Deyle told SSN. “Our team has more than tripled in less than a year. We have customers across every industry — tech, manufacturing, defense, finance — and the companies we serve range from startups to Fortune 100 companies in their offices, warehouses, manufacturing, malls, and museums. Today we have Cobalt robots across the United States in major cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Denver, with plans to expand our services to even more metropolitan areas.”

Deyle also pointed to the growing market demand for security robots and their capabilities. “Several of our customers have added security robots as part of their physical security operations to provide additional patrolling resources,” he said.