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Avidbots raises US$70M in Series C round

Kitchener-based Avidbots, which makes commercial cleaning robots, has announced a Series C raise of US$70 million, bringing its total venture capital raised to date to US$107 million.

The size of the round is all the more significant given the general tightening in venture capital purse strings over the past 10 months.

“This is a special milestone in our company’s development,” said Faizan Sheikh, Avidbots CEO and co-founder. “We are very excited about the future as this financing allows us to accelerate our timelines for bringing new products to market as well as continuously improve our autonomous driving software and service for existing customers to deliver an even better experience and greater value.”

Sheikh, a University of Waterloo mechatronics engineering grad who moved to Canada from Pakistan at the age of 14, partnered with classmate Pablo Molina to start Avidbots in 2014. 

Eight years later, more than 1,000 Avidbot Neo robotic cleaners are being used across 12 countries in commercial settings such as schools, health care, manufacturing, retail, warehousing, airports and transit hubs.

The Series C funding will help the company expand its existing fleet of commercial-cleaning robots and add-ons, while enhancing its autonomy software and growing its sales and marketing resources in the U.S. and other international markets.

Avidbots, which currently employs more than 300 people, also said it plans to hire another 100 over the next year. 

The company said it has “doubled down” on its investment in Waterloo Region by recently securing a new headquarters and additional space to support R&D and testing. Formerly operating out of 40,000 square feet on Bleams Road in Kitchener, Avidbots is now located nearby in 70,000 square feet of upgraded space at 45 Washburn Dr. in Kitchener.

“The new headquarters is conducive to hybrid work, featuring multifunctional spaces along with recreational and rest environments to promote collaboration amongst Avidbotters,” the company said in a news release. “The new headquarters will also include a significant expansion to Avidbots’ testing facilities.” 

The Series C financing was led by Jeneration Capital of Hong Kong, with participation from existing investors True Ventures, Next 47, SOSV, GGV Capital, BDC Capital, Golden Ventures, and Kensington Capital Partners. New investors include BMO Capital Partners, Golden Vision Capital and Nicola Wealth.

“We are excited to partner with Avidbots as they continue to deliver best-in-class robotic solutions to meet the industry demand for automation in the commercial cleaning marketplace,” said Tony Zhang, Partner at Jeneration Capital.

Check out this Communitech video interview with the founders of Avidbots.

"Communitech helps tech-driven companies start, grow and succeed. Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players. Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways: - Communitech is a place – the center of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool shit and great companies. - Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate. - Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to go from a small startup to a global giant."

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