Britbots launches second British Robotics Seed Fund for innovative UK start-ups

The first fund invested in six UK robotics and AI start-ups at seed stage - including the likes of ZOA Robotics, Botskill and Tethered Done Technologies

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The second stage of a seed fund dedicated to investing in UK-based robotic start-ups has been launched.

Managed by Britbots and Sapphire Capital Partners, Britbots says the British Robotics Seed Fund will look to back “world-class entrepreneurs with global product opportunities” with particular focus on machine-learning and enabling technologies for autonomous robotics – having already earmarked a number of potential investments.

The new fund will be predominantly focused on SEIS-qualifying investment opportunities with the hope of delivering significant tax benefits to investors.

While there will also be scope for the fund to make a number of investments under the EIS scheme when there are scale-up opportunities for existing portfolio companies. It will close at the end of March 2018.

The first fund, which was active last year, invested in six UK robotics and AI start-ups at seed stage including:

  • Zoa Robotics: A low-cost robotics platform that allows for the transportation of materials around uneven environments, using four-legged robots.
  • Botskill: Enables brands to take their first steps in using bots to handle routine customer enquiries.
  • Tethered Done Technologies: Provides autonomous tethered drone systems, flying near-continuously for use in semi-permanent surveillance and communications scenarios.
  • Redbeard: A software company that aims to make it easier to design and build user interface apps for smartphones to remotely control robots and other systems at a distance.
  • Future Technology Resources: Provides tools to help teachers teach computer programming in a practical and fun way.

Back in September 2017, Britbots also launched the “world’s first” equity crowdfunding platform for robotic start-ups, Britbots CROWD.

Featured businesses can accept a minimum investment of £200, as well as benefiting from active mentoring and business development support from Britbots.

Dominic Keen, founder of Britbots, said:

“I’m delighted to be able to launch our second robotics fund. It is the best way for an investor to get access to mixed basket of shares in the exciting robotics and AI growth companies that are shaping our economy for the decades ahead.”

Thiago Azevedo, of ZOA Robotics, a recipient of seed funding via the first British Robotics Seed Fund, said:

“The British Robotics Seed Fund is unique in providing a specialist funding source for robotics entrepreneurs like myself.

“In addition to the investment provided, they’ve taken an active role in business, using their expertise to focus our strategy and execution.”

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