Singapore-based robotics startup Botsync aims to scale its solutions to meet a growing demand for robotics automation in the manufacturing and logistics’ sectors.
Botsync, a Singapore-based robotics startup that builds heavy duty autonomous mobile robot solutions, successfully raises seed-round funding for scaling its automation solutions to support the logistics and manufacturing sector.
The round was jointly led by Wong Fong Industries Ltd., SEEDS Capital, Angelhub and Artesian Venture Partners. SEEDS Capital is the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, Wong Fong is a SGX listed Group specialising in several businesses including customised engineering solutions, industrial and hospitality training, education and talent management and placements.
Angelhub is Hong Kong’s first Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) licensed startup investment, and Artesian Venture Partners is an alternative investment firm in the Asia-Pacific region with over 400 startups in its portfolio. Botsync’s early investors also include Brinc and Nanyang Technological University’s Ecolabs Center of Innovation.
Commenting on the completion of the round, Botsync CEO Rahul Nambiar says automation is the key to the future.
“We have always believed that automation is a stepping stone to a more efficient future. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has crystallised this notion. This funding support empowers us to scale up the commercialisation of our robotics solution and enhance the features of our automated vehicles for safer and more reliable use. We are now in a strong position to build our technology teams in Singapore and India to meet the growing need for automated solutions. Our aim is to eventually help enterprises all over the world embrace automation,” says Nambiar.
Nambiar says Botsync enables companies to simplify automation of their material movement processes with an intelligent fleet of autonomous mobile robots that can transport payloads between 500 and 1000 kg. He claims the solution is scalable and requires minimal or no changes to the existing infrastructure, helping enterprises reduce their dependencies on forklifts and personnel while organising their processes more efficiently.
After deploying Botsync robots, Nambiar claims users may enjoy an overall cost reduction of their material handling operations by up to 45 percent.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Botsync says its offering free automation consultation and flexible rental based deployments of their products to help companies cope with mandatory sanitation measures and a reduced workforce.
The concept was founded in 2017 by graduates from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Nikhil Venkatesh, Prashant Trivedi, Singaram Venkatachalam and Rahul Nambiar. To date, Botsync claims it has completed sales contracts across Singapore and India and is currently working with a global energy management solutions company and an international transport and logistics company on pilot projects.
Botsync was incubated at the EcoLabs Centre of Innovation for Energy (EcoLabs), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where its product commercialisation was accelerated and its funding rounds supported by the EcoLabs co-investor network.
NTU Singapore Associate Vice President (Strategy & Partnerships) Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar says the successful fundraising of Botsync is a testament to the effectiveness of the EcoLabs in-house accelerator programme as well as the university’s efforts in grooming entrepreneurial talent.
“Botsync founders were mentored and guided through their innovation journey under EcoLabs, where their excellent teamwork combined with their passion for robotics resulted in technological solutions ready to help companies transform and transition into Industry 4.0. Smart mobile robots that can transport heavy loads safely and efficiently are exactly the solutions that factories and warehouses need during this COVID-19 pandemic, to supplement their reduced manpower while minimising human-to-human contact, thus reducing the risk of virus transmission. Botsync’s success is a great example of how university incubators and industry can jointly bring disruptive innovations to the market,” says Professor Subodh.
Commenting on the collaboration, Wong Fong Industries Executive Director Chern Yean Liew says COVID-19 has considerably shortened the digitization and automation timeline.
“While it was deemed necessary a couple of months back, it was not an urgent need. Companies will now need to embrace and find new ways to harness the benefits of technology in order to be ahead of the innovation curve. As a Group with engineering as one of its core businesses, Wong Fong recognises the synergistic collaboration with Botsync and believes that with the support of Wong Fong, Botsync will be able to offer its innovative automation solutions to companies looking to automate and stay globally competitive,” says Chern.
Through Botsync Labs, the academic and training division of Botsync, the company also aims to create products and education materials to equip the workforce and the student community with robotics and technology skills, to be essential in a more automated work environment.
In 2020, the company expects to complete up to three two to three commercial deployments of their MAG robots, increase sales of their industrial training products, and expand its market reach in Southeast Asia and India.