Bot-Hive, a digital marketplace for robotics and AI solutions has successfully completed a six-figure equity funding round.
Bot-Hive is a digital marketplace which connects SMEs with the right automation technology for their business and shows them the best way to introduce robots to their workflow processes.
The round was led by new investor the Development Bank of Wales with an investment of £250,000 - with continued further investment from its pre-seed lead investor Britbots. Britbots is a specialist robotics, artificial intelligence and automation business investor. Set-up in 2016 they support a portfolio of early stage businesses offering sustainable solutions to future proof work-places through AI and robotics technology. Six new angel investors also participated in the round.
Bot-Hive has used the funding to open its headquarters in Cardiff on Wellington Road. Three existing staff, along with three new hires will be based in their new offices. The start-up also uses a hot-desking facility at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of West England and has a European presence in Amsterdam.
Jacques Bonfrer, CEO and co-founder of Bot-Hive lives with his family in Cardiff. He said: “We are delighted to have closed this round of fundraising and very pleased to welcome the Development Bank of Wales, as well as the new angel investors. We’ve worked closely with them all over the last few months and they have shared our excitement as we demonstrated how we intend to provide a unique platform for all those consumers in the robot industry.
“It is also very encouraging that we talked with a number of other later-stage investors during the process and we will maintain a dialogue with them as we work through our business roadmap.
“This is an exciting time for Bot-Hive and it’s great to be able to base our business in the city I call home. Cardiff is acknowledged as one of the UK's equity hotspots and has a thriving network for technology companies.”
The Development Bank of Wales has specialist funds to help early-stage businesses to develop and exploit their technology. Funding for this equity round came from the £20 million Wales Technology Seed Fund.
Sarah Smith, Technology Investment Executive for the Development Bank said: “Automation and robotics have a crucial role in the future of multiple industries not only in Wales, but throughout the UK and globally. Bot-Hive is a conduit between the automation industry and businesses. The Bot-Hive team is ideally placed to play an influential role in this sector over the coming years. They have a clear growth strategy and industry knowledge and we are delighted to be able to support them through the Wales Technology Seed Fund.”
Dominic Keen of the Britbots Sidecar Fund added: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support Bot-Hive’s roll-out. They have an extremely important role to play in the post-pandemic economy with the increasing importance of higher levels of automation.”