Bezos, Nvidia join OpenAI in funding humanoid Robot Startup

Major players in the tech industry, including Amazon, Nvidia, and Microsoft, are funneling investments into startup Figure AI, which specializes in crafting robots with human-like qualities. Bloomberg reports that the venture, also receiving support from OpenAI and backed by a consortium of investors, is in the process of securing approximately $675 million in funding. This valuation places the company at around $2 billion.

As per the report, Jeff Bezos, through his firm Explore Investments LLC, has committed $100 million, with Microsoft contributing $95 million. Nvidia and an Amazon-affiliated fund are each adding $50 million to the venture. The burgeoning interest in artificial intelligence startups is attributed to the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a widely embraced chatbot launched in November 2022, prompting investors to explore opportunities in this growing sector.

Despite prior considerations of acquisition, OpenAI has chosen to invest $5 million in Figure. This backing is reinforced by a consortium of other supporters, including Intel’s venture capital arm, LG Innotek, Samsung’s investment group, and venture firms Parkway Venture Capital and Align Ventures.

Moreover, contributions from ARK Venture Fund, Aliya Capital Partners, and Tamarack underscore the widespread investor interest in Figure AI. However, when asked for comment, major players such as Amazon, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Intel remained silent, while Figure AI and other mentioned entities refrained from immediate responses to inquiries from Reuters.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Figure AI has been making significant advancements in developing adaptable humanoid robots capable of navigating diverse environments and performing various tasks, ranging from warehouse operations to retail functions. In its initial external funding round last year, the company raised $70 million led by Parkway Venture Capital, indicating early confidence in its innovative approach to robotics technology.

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