Our Investment in Misty Robotics

by Brad Feld

We are pleased to announce that Foundry Venture Capital 2016, L.P. has completed its initial investment in Misty Robotics as part of its spinout from Sphero followed by an $11.5 million financing. Based in Boulder, CO, Misty Robotics, Inc. is building a robot for everyone with the goal of providing autonomous robots for every home and office. These robots will be seen and treated as our friends, our teammates, and a part of our families, interacting with humans in entertaining and friendly ways that have only been seen before in science fiction.

Misty Robotics was previously the autonomous robotics division of Sphero. The team behind Misty has been working on a home robot for the past 18 months. Given the rapid growth of Sphero’s consumer and toy robot products, the Sphero board and leadership team decided that it made sense to have a separate company focus on the Misty product.

The state of the robotics market is currently dominated by early adopters that are trying to get their kit robots to do something useful. Misty Robotics’ approach is to give people a complete, fully-functioning, high-quality robot that people can move beyond tinkering so they can build applications to explore the full potential of what robots can do for us in the home and office.

We think Misty Robotics is the same giant step function for robotics as Apple was for computers in the late 1970s. Before Apple, developers were building the foundation (computer). After the introduction of Apple, developers started building applications. We feel like everyone in robotics is still focusing on the foundation (the robot). We want to provide a robot (Misty) that allows developers to build applications.

While there have been several successful consumer robots so far, such as iRobot’s Roomba, we feel that the next evolution of consumer robots will be personal assistants and family companions that will emote, instead of just doing things. Misty will be the platform robot for an open, collaborative ecosystem for the development of applications for this type of robot.

Ian Bernstein, former Sphero co-founder and CTO, will be taking the role of Head of Product and is joined by five other Sphero autonomous robotics division team members. Tim Enwall, founder and CEO of three previous successful startups, such as Solista, Tendril Networks and Revolv, will be joining as CEO.