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OpenAI-backed 1X raises another $100M for the race to humanoid robots

With $100 million in pocket Open AI backed 1X has a lot of plans when it comes to bringing the humanoid into the reality of our daily existence

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Robot maker 1X Technologies, a Norway-based startup backed by Open AI, which is a U.S based AI research organisation, has raised $100 million in its EQT ventures funded series B funding round. EQT Ventures is a VC firm that has a history in backing startups like Einride and Varjo. The company had previously achieved a Series A funding in March, last year, led by Tiger Global and Open AI.

During the round, 1X also availed an additional transaction in which investor Sandwater made the third largest contribution, thereby increasing its stake. Samsung Next also participated as a new investor besides existing parties like Skagerak Capital and the Nistad group. 

The company intends to spend its funds in introducing an Android named Neo to the consumer household market. The humanoid is designed to cater to daily domestic tasks from laundry to cleaning. 

Reportedly, CEO of 1X, Bernt Øivind Børnich, said, “The once-distant dream of having a versatile, intelligent home assistant is now becoming a reality.”

In less than 12 months, 1X now has a raise of over $125 million. The CEO further said, “This funding will support their mission to produce safe and advanced androids at a commercial scale, aiming to meet global labour demands and build an abundant society.” 1X, originally founded as Halodi Robotics in 2014, aims as a company to “realise a new solution: general purpose robots that can perform labour alongside humans.”

Eve was the first two-wheeler droid that was tasked with such an assignment last year and was associated with the labour force, showing proven skills in warehouse logistics and guarding. What makes Neo more upgraded and unique is its broader ambition as a general-purpose bot to fit into our daily existence as an intelligent assistant and not ascribe to the notion of an industrial machine. 1X has also imbibed into Neo human characteristics in the shape of its form, height (165 cm) and range of motion. It also has dexterous hands capable of lifting 75kgs. 

The $100 million investment raised by 1X is making the dream of bringing robots to coexist with humans possible shortly. This also puts them into competition with Tesla’s Optimus Robot which Elon Musk wants to launch by 2027.

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