Bezos, Nvidia join OpenAI in funding humanoid robot startup


Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Nvidia and other big technology names are investing in a startup Figure AI that works in developing human-like robots.

Bloomberg News reported the joint venture on Friday, citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Figure AI, also backed by ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and Microsoft, is raising about $675 million in a funding round that carries a pre-money valuation of about $2 billion, according to the report.

Bezos had committed $100 million through his firm Explore Investments LLC and Microsoft is investing $95 million, while Nvidia and an Amazon-affiliated fund are each providing $50 million, Bloomberg reported. OpenAI, which at one point considered acquiring Figure, is investing $5 million, the report added.

The futuristic tech company states one of its immediate goals is to support the deployment of autonomous humanoid workers to fill the millions of open jobs projected to be unfilled over the next few years, due to a shrinking human labor force.

The robots will be developed to take over jobs geared toward the warehouse, retail, and transportation industries.

Figure AI’s long term mission statement is “to develop general purpose humanoids that make a positive impact on humanity and create a better life for future generations.”

“These robots can eliminate the need for unsafe and undesirable jobs — ultimately allowing us to live happier, more purposeful lives,” according FigureAI CEO and Founder Brett Adcock.

Investments in artificial intelligence startups have sparked after the launch of OpenAI's viral chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022, as investors sense an opportunity, betting on these startups that they might outpace bigger rivals.

Backers include Intel's venture capital arm, LG Innotek, Samsung's investment group, as well as venture firms Parkway Venture Capital and Align Ventures, the report added.

ARK Venture Fund, Aliya Capital Partners and Tamarack are also among investors in the startup, according to the report.

Amazon, Nvidia and Microsoft declined to comment while other names mentioned in the report, including Figure AI, did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Last year, the Sunnyvale, California-based Figure raised $70 million from investors led by Parkway Venture Capital in its first external round.


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