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Jeff Bezos, Nvidia Back $2 Billion Humanoid Robot Venture with OpenAI, Microsoft: Report

Figure AI's humanoid robot, backed by industry leaders, paves the way for future AI advancements.

Jeff Bezos, Nvidia Corp., and other major technology companies are investing in a company that develops humanoid robots as part of a scramble to discover new applications for artificial intelligence, reports suggested.

Figure AI Raises $675M for Humanoid Robot Development, Backed by Tech Giants

The startup Figure AI Inc., which is also sponsored by OpenAI and Microsoft Corp., is raising approximately $675 million in a funding round with a pre-money valuation of approximately $2 billion, according to unidentified sources with knowledge of the matter requesting anonymity.

Bezos has allocated $100 million via the corporation Explore Investments LLC, as per Fortune. Microsoft has allocated an investment of $95 million, whereas Nvidia and an entity affiliated with Inc. each contribute $50 million.

The AI industry has discovered robots to be a crucial new frontier, enabling the application of cutting-edge technology to practical duties. Engineers at Figure are developing a humanoid automaton that mimics its movements and appearance.

The organization has expressed its aspiration for its Figure 01 machine to execute hazardous tasks that are unsuitable for human beings and for its technology to contribute to mitigating labor shortages.

Additionally, other technology corporations are participating. The venture capital division of Intel Corporation is investing $25 million, while LG Innotek contributes $8.5 million. In the meantime, Samsung's investment division contributed $5 million. Additionally, venture capital firms Parkway Venture Capital and Align Ventures contribute $100 million and $90 million, respectively.

Additionally, the ARK Venture Fund participates with a $2.5 million investment, and Aliya Capital Partners has contributed $20 million. Tamarack contributes $27 million, Boscolo Intervest Ltd. contributes $15 million, and BOLD Capital Partners contributes $2.5 million.

OpenAI, which considered acquiring Figure at one stage, is making a $5 million investment. In January, Bloomberg News published an article regarding the funding round, which was initiated by Microsoft and OpenAI as the principal investors. These prominent figures played a role in attracting financial infusion from other organizations. The $675 million raised represents a substantial augmentation in comparison to Figure's initial target of $500 million.

Figure and its investors' representatives either declined to comment or failed to respond to queries for comment immediately.

As final details are ironed out, those with knowledge of the situation anticipate that the investors will transfer the funds to Figure AI and sign formal agreements on Monday; however, these figures are subject to change. The valuation of approximately $2 billion is pre-money, which means it does not include the capital that Figure is raising.

A funding round led by Parkway invested $70 million in Figure in May of last year. Chief Executive Officer Brett Adcock stated then, "We aspire to be among the pioneering organizations to introduce a humanoid capable of functional and commercial endeavors to the marketplace."

AI Robotics Sector Sees Surge with New Humanoid Developments and Major Investments

Lately, the AI robotics sector has been extremely active. 1X Technologies AS, a Norwegian robotics startup sponsored by OpenAI, raised $100 million earlier this year. Sanctuary AI, based in Vancouver, is in the process of creating the humanoid automaton Phoenix. Moreover, Tesla Inc. is developing an Optimus robot, which Elon Musk considers among his most significant undertakings.

Amazon invested in Agility Robotics in 2022 and is currently testing robots in one of its warehouses. Bezos, who, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Ranking, is the second-wealthiest individual in the world, served as Amazon's CEO until 2021 and continues to hold the position of chairman. An estimation places his net worth at $197.1 billion.

Photo: Daniel Oberhaus, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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