A key Midwest robotics company is set to relocate to Columbus, Ohio.
The company, Ready Robotics, was founded in Baltimore, Maryland but will make the move west after a $15 million round of funding, according to a report from the tech site Technical.ly.
That critical funding round was led by Drive Capital, which is also based in the Ohio capital and is well-known for providing venture capital investments into Midwest startups, VentureBeat reported. The website reported that investors initially wanted Ready Robotics to relocate its headquarters to the Bay Area, but the idea was ultimately nixed in favor of the Midwest.
“Drive asked us to move to Columbus, but that’s ultimately not the reason why we moved,” Ready Robotics CEO Benjamin Gibbs told VentureBeat. “The Midwest is actually the fifth largest economy in the world if you broke it out from the U.S. And the amount of manufacturing and industrial automation that is going on there is just tremendous.”
Ready Robotics is a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) that rents out robotics to small manufacturing companies that can’t afford to buy robotic services.
The company’s main product is a robotic arm that can be used for a variety of tasks all around factories to act as a gripper, feeder, or sensor, among other things. It is available to small businesses for $2,000 to $4,000 per month on three-month contracts.
“Factory workers are constantly under time pressure, and they simply don’t have the weeks that it would take to traditionally set up an industrial robot,” Gibbs told VentureBeat. “And what our system allows them to do is very quickly get a robot set up and running on a wide variety of tasks.”
The CEO said he is excited for the new beginning in Columbus, which company officials see as a prime location for startups in the Midwest.
“Columbus is a really well-kept secret in the Midwest, in that there are a large number of corporate headquarters there and there’s a tremendous number of innovative companies,” Gibbs told VentureBeat. “So it’s a great opportunity for a young company like us to go there and work with really forward-thinking companies that want to adopt and try out new technologies. And we know that if we can succeed there, we’re going to be able to succeed everywhere.”