SLAMcore raises £12.8m to help robots navigate

SLAMcore map

Spatial mapping company SLAMcore has raised $16m (£12.8m) in its Series A investment round led by ROBO Global Ventures and Presidio Ventures.

The London-based startup will use the capital to meet the demand for its technology across multiple sectors, including consumer electronics, logistics and manufacturing.

SLAMcore is creating algorithms that will let autonomous devices, such as robots and drones, process their surroundings through Simultaneous Localization and Mapping – or SLAM. Its technology uses artificial intelligence with “consumer-grade” cameras, sensors and processors.

SLAMcore wants to “democratise robot technology”, making SLAM more cost-achievable to designers of robots, as the technology can take months and thousands of dollars to be successful.

SLAMcore’s algorithms let robotic designers use an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to achieve a quicker development time.

Digitally, the technology can be used by makers of VR and AR headsets that need mapping and location between virtual and physical worlds.

SLAMcore’s mapping software is already being used by Facebook’s parent company Meta, which last year rebranded to reflect its fresh focus on virtual and augmented reality.

SLAMcore targets $100bn market

“For far too long, robots have not been able to navigate physical spaces with the level of accuracy and efficiency that we know is possible,” said Owen Nicholson, founder and CEO, SLAMcore.

“As they become more available to companies and consumers alike in years to come, SLAMcore is determined to ensure that as many designers as possible have access to the algorithms needed to optimize their products,” added Nicholson.

According to SLAMcore, the market for autonomous and spatially aware machines is predicted to be in excess of $100bn (£799m) by 2030.

Further contributions to the round came from Amadeus Capital Partners, Global Brain, IP Group, MMC, Octopus, Samsung Ventures, Toyota Ventures and Yamato Holdings.

The funding news follows SLAMcore’s $5m (£3.9m) funding round in June 2020, with its total funding to date standing at $27.4m (£21.9m).

“SLAMcore’s technology can be deployed to add value and reduce time to market for robots in a wide range of sectors. We are proud to start a business partnership with SLAMcore,” said Kuni Kawase, managing director, Presidio Ventures.

Earlier this year FOV Ventures launched a €25m fund to back metaverse startups. In 2021 investment into UK virtual reality companies hit a record £154m, compared to £90m in 2020.