ALBA Robot, a Turin-based innovative startup incubated by I3P (an innovative business incubator of the Politecnico di Torino) that is working on developing a platform to make traditional wheelchairs smart, has secured a €2.63 million investment round led by the €2 million Cysero Fund (managed by AVM Gestioni sgr), in which CDP Venture Capital sgr’s RoboIT National Technology Transfer Hub and accelerator Techstars also participated.
The round follows a previous one raised in October 2020, led then by Amazon Alexa Fund, Amazon’s $200 million investment fund that provides venture capital to fuel voice technology innovation, after the startup had entered Alexa Next Stage, the accelerator program structured by the same Alexa Fund together with Techstars, in June of that year.
Alba Robot had been the only Italian startup among the seven selected worldwide by the fund. Alexa Next Stage was born from the success of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, designed to support startups that intend to integrate Alexa with their technology in order to create new and innovative experiences for users.
Alexa Fund’s entry into Alba-Robot’s capital had also been concurrent with the issuance of equity financial instruments (sfp) to Techstars, which in the newly announced round were then converted into equity.
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For the transaction, the Investors were supported on legal issues by KLGates Firm. ALBA Robot was assisted by Studio Pavesio & Associati with Negri-Clementi
ALBA Robot was founded in October 2019 by Andrea Bertaia Segato and Giacomo Moiso. The startup was born as a spin-off of Moschini spa (family office of Poltrona Frau founder Franco Moschini) and Teoresi spa (a company specializing in engineering that provides technology development and systems integration services internationally). In fact, B3ForIn srl, an investment vehicle owned by Moschini spa, Teoresi spa, and CO.MEC. spa, a company that deals with the design and construction of mechanical and electromechanical equipment that reports to the president of Federmeccanica, Alberto Dal Poz, had entered Alba Robot’s capital with a 30 percent investment of €1.2 million.
As a result of the new investment round, the Cysero fund, RoboIT National Technology Transfer Hub, and Techstars will go on to hold a significant minority stake in ALBA Robot, with the rest of the company’s shareholding remaining with the startup’s founders and a group of business angels.
ALBA Robot specializes in designing and implementing technologies to support and empower people with reduced mobility and to provide autonomous/assisted mobility solutions and services for facilities such as hospitals, airports, and museums. The company has a team of about 20 people, mostly a mix of senior engineers and under-30 talent.
With the capital raised in this round, ALBA Robot will have the resources to complete the development of its first product for the market, the autonomous vehicle that is currently being tested at some Italian airports, and strengthen the team from a commercial and operational perspective. In particular, in fact, the startup has developed a special wheelchair that integrates the best technologies from the world of self-driving cars and robotics. The wheelchair prototype is able to communicate with its user and the surrounding infrastructure.
Andrea Bertaia, CEO of ALBA Robot, commented, “This investment made by an Italian fund such as Cysero, which specializes in robotics and cybersecurity, together with the National Technology Transfer Pole RoboIT and Techstars, is for ALBA Robot a great recognition of the level of technology achieved and the social impact we intend to generate.”
Giovanna Dossena, CEO of AVM Gestioni sgr, commented, “ALBA Robot embodies the prototype company in which we want to invest both as Cysero, as an enabler of technology transfer and accelerator of the development of innovative startups, and as AVM Gestioni, the first securities investment sgr to become a benefit company. Technology can and should have a major social impact on people’s lives, simplifying them and contributing to a better future.”
As a reminder, Cysero is a fund focused on robotics and cyber security, established in October 2020 on the initiative of Alberto Bombassei (chairman of Brembo and Kilometro Rosso) and precisely Giovanna Dossena (CEO and chairman of AVM) and with the membership of entrepreneurial families such as the Radici, Persico, Fassi, Cogliati, Pasini, and Borromeo families. CDP Venture Capital sgr through the Technology Transfer fund then invested €20 million in it.
This latest investment by the fund follows the one announced a few days ago in Oversonic Robotics, the Italian software company that develops cognitive computing systems for robotics and has created RoBee, the first humanoid robot certified to support work inside companies’ production facilities with an industry 5.0 perspective.
Salvatore Majorana, director of Kilometro Rosso, then added, “Kilometro Rosso’s commitment to the development of Italian robotics continues. When we set out with AVM on the beautiful adventure of Cysero, we had a clear design and knew that a platform like the Science Park could offer support and connections to young companies with cutting-edge technologies. With Alba, the first steps are being taken in the indoor transportation of people, a frontier that promises to change our lives for the better.”
According to Luca Todesco, keyman of the Cysero fund who led the team in this transaction, “ALBA Robot is one of the world’s first-movers in a market that we are sure will develop in the years to come. The Cysero fund boldly invests in technology transfer initiatives that it believes to be highly disruptive in their sectors and, again, has the privilege of leading a string of heavyweight investors on this occasion.”
Claudia Pingue, head of CDP Venture Capital sgr’s Technology Transfer fund, commented, “ALBA Robot shows us how robotics can help improve people’s lives, as well as make manufacturing processes and supply chains more efficient. It is one of the reasons why we established RoboIT, the National Technology Transfer Pole on Robotics and Automation, industries that have untapped potential to respond to the challenges of our time.”
Recall that CDP Venture Capital invested €40 million to set up RoboIT, flanking the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genoa, the University of Naples Federico II, the University of Verona, the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and Pariter Partners (an investment holding company that leads Italy’s first and only syndicate network specializing on deep-tech), Italian multinational Leonardo and Eureka! Fund I – Technology Transfer, a venture capital fund of Eureka! Venture sgr, specialized in innovative materials science and engineering also applied to robotics.
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First published in BeBeez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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