ODENSE, Denmark — Last week, OnRobot A/S, which makes end-of-arm tooling for collaborative robot arms, said it raised 185 million DKK ($27.5 million U.S.) from the European Investment Bank and several local investors.
Vaekstfonden (The Growth Fund) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) led the latest round of investment. Other backers included prominent technology families in Funen, the third-largest island in Denmark. EIB and the Growth Fund recently established an $83 million fund for investing in Danish companies.
“We are pleased to make the first investment in cooperation with the EIB, whose massive investments will help to ensure growth, innovation, and job creation in a number of Danish companies that have the potential to become international beacons,” stated Rolf Kjærgaard, director of Vaekstfonden. “OnRobot has already been on a great growth journey, and with this investment, the company can significantly accelerate development and bring Danish robotics technology even wider.”
OnRobot grows along with gripper market
OnRobot was created with the merger of OptoForce, Perception Robotics, and On Robot in 2018. The company has been busy ever since. At iREX in Japan last week, OnRobot launched its VGC10, a smaller electric vacuum gripper.
Earlier this month, OnRobot received UR+ certification for its One System Solution interface to work with cobot arms from Universal Robots A/S. One System Solution won a gold award in the Leadership in Engineering Achievement Program (LEAP), which was presented at DeviceTalks and the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum two weeks ago.
The end-of-arm tool (EOAT) maker acquired Purple Robotics in August 2018 and the assets of Blue Workforce earlier in 2019. It also raised funding and opened a research and development office in Los Angeles.
OnRobot’s product portfolio also includes electric grippers, force/torque sensors, the award-winning Gecko Gripper, and tool changers.
Addressing debt, increasing technical lead
Although the global EOAT market is growing, the company‘s acquisitions, expansion of its headquarters and dealer network, and efforts to scale internationally have put it into debt, noted Enrico Krog Inverson, CEO of OnRobot. The company has offices in eight countries, more than 380 distributors globally, and about 180 employees.
“We have already created a very solid foundation, and in particular the marketing of our new ‘plug-and-play” platform will be crucial for reaching our ambitious goals,” said Krog Iversen. “With this new investment, we will have the opportunity to increase our lead and make our vision a reality.”
“OnRobot is an exciting local company that is on an ambitious international growth journey,” said Nicolai Fink Gundersen, who is joining the board of directors on behalf of the new investors. “For us, it is important to support local initiatives with global potential, and there is no doubt that OnRobot with Enrico Krog Iversen at the forefront represents a strong opportunity to strengthen the robot cluster in Odense as an international powerhouse.”