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SoftBank and Robotics Investments

SoftBank and Robotics Investments

SoftBank recently reported a massive $23bn quarterly loss in 1Q22 (source: FT.com) and announced more cautious investment criteria and smaller equity stakes in the future.  What might this mean for the robotics companies remaining in SoftBank's portfolio? Will there be a push to exit companies earlier, not invest in additional rounds, more pressure on management (robot companies) to commercialise/grow sales, etc?  In STIQs experience, SoftBank typically invests at later stages and attempt to be a kind of flywheel for increasing valuations, or valuation expectations. Some of SoftBank's portfolio companies have started working with other SoftBank portfolio companies or subsidiaries (this is relatively common among PE firms). It...

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Amazon to acquire iRobot for $1.7bn

Amazon to acquire iRobot for $1.7bn

Amazon recently announced they would acquire iRobot, the company behind the consumer robot vacuum cleaner for $1.7bn.  Why did Amazon acquire iRobot? Whilst Amazon already have one of the largest robot workforces globally in its warehouses, the iRobot acquisition is unrelated to this part of Amazon.  STIQs view is that Amazon has a view of how future consumer dwellings/homes will be reliant on smart devices connected to a software ecosystem, such as Amazon's Alexa assistant. Amazon internal initiatives high failure rate? Amazon has already attempted to develop applications internally, such as Dash Buttons (discontinued, source), Astro (source), etc. but most of these appear to have failed....

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Proteus by Amazon: STIQs view

Proteus by Amazon: STIQs view

Kiva Systems Acquisition In 2012, Amazon acquired Kiva Systems, a warehouse robotics company, for $775m (and also triggered increased activity in the wider warehouse robotics sector). Since 2012, the original Kiva robot has gone through a few iterations, new robot versions or upgrades have been released. Kiva also formed the base for what the division now known as "Amazon Robotics". (source) The Pegasus Robot The Pegasus (based on the original Kiva design) is probably the most well known of the Amazon Robotics versions and has also been deployed as a sortation robot. Various media outlets assume Amazon have deployed c.520,000 of these mobile...

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Why pay for expensive market research when you can get it for free?

Why pay for expensive market research when you can get it for free?

STIQ are aware that our free reports are copied and referenced widely in startup funding decks and custom reports. Often this is done with proper sourcing and referencing of STIQs freely available reports.  Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that various supposedly reputable market research companies are also referencing STIQs reports/data as their own and charging for what is essentially free. If you use data explicitly from research in your reports - please use proper referencing and source, i.e. "Source: STIQ Ltd + [year/report name]". LogisticsIQ In June 2022, we became aware of one market research company - LogisticsIQ - simply...

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#2 Robotics Networking Event, July 19th by STIQ & TLA Robotics

#2 Robotics Networking Event, July 19th by STIQ & TLA Robotics

TLA Robotics networking event #2 STIQ organised a 2nd Robotics Networking event in London via the TLA Robotics working group, kindly hosted by Shoosmiths. - TLA Robotics meetup #2, image courtesy of Kay So. The event was planned many months in advance, but we still managed to pick the warmest day on record in the UK. There was a cool 21C degrees inside the venue whilst it hovered around 38-40C outside. Despite widespread train cancellations and delays throughout the UK on the day, the event garnered a 40-strong audience including investors, students, robot vendors and others. The audience viewed a range of...

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