LG Funds Bear Robotics Startup with $60 Million

LG Funds Bear Robotics Startup with $60 Million

LG Electronics is investing $60 million in Bear Robotics, a Redwood City, California-based startup that aims to simplify hotel management, according to TechCrunch.

LG may not be the industry leader in smartphones, but it is shifting its attention to devices like robotics. The massive electronics corporation today revealed a $60 million investment in Bear Robotics, a business that creates AI-powered serving robots for eateries and other establishments. These wheeled, autonomous tray towers are meant to take the place of servers. With this investment, LG Electronics has increased its stake in the robotics startup to the highest level.

PitchBook data indicates that Bear’s 2022 funding round valued the company at slightly over $490 million after taking out loans. For entrepreneurs in the space, the last year has proven difficult, despite the fact that the valuation for this most recent investment is yet unknown.

This latest support follows nearly two months after LG CEO William Cho hinted at LG’s interest in equity investments in robots at CES 2024 in January, with a focus on delivery and logistics. The business is now acting to support its statements.

After closing its troubled global mobile division in April 2021, LG, the Korean behemoth, shifted its focus to other business growth areas, such as robotics, smart homes, connected devices, the Internet of Things, electric vehicle (EV) components, and artificial intelligence platforms.

In a statement, Lee Sam-soo, chief strategy officer at LG Electronics, said, “As the service robot market enters a period of growth, this equity investment will significantly contribute to securing a ‘Winning competitive edge’ for the company. From a mid- to long-term perspective, we will seek to develop our robot business into a new growth engine, exploring various opportunities through the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as Embodied AI and robotic manipulation.”

John Ha established Bear Robotics in 2017. Ha, a former Silicon Valley software engineer for Google, is now a restaurant owner and is aware of how difficult life can be. His interest and passion in developing serving robots were prompted by his own experience with the challenges of operating a restaurant.

According to Ha, “Standardized open platforms are essential for the activation of the robot market, just as Android revolutionized the smartphone era.”