Temi raises $21m to put robo-assistants in homes across America

Temi, a robotics startup, secured $21m in funding so you can finally video chat like a Jetson.

December 20, 2018

VentureBeat reports that Temi, a New York-based robotics startup, is going all in on its new Temi robo-assistant after securing $21m in Series B funding ($83m to date). 

The round was led by Alibaba’s former chief technology officer, John Wu, as well as the Hong Kong-based wellness company Ogawa, which will partner with Temi to help market and distribute bots around the world. 

‘When I was a kid, we had to strap Alexa to a skateboard!’

This ain’t your granny’s robo-assistant. The best way to describe the Temi-bot is an Amazon Echo connected to a plastic torso on wheels. It stands 3 feet tall with a 10-inch tablet for a head, and is equipped with facial recognition to identify and track you.

Temi connects to Google’s AI tools so it can give its users hands-free video chat, allow them to watch TV, or listen to music while roaming around the house… kinda  like a TV that moves. Super necessary. 

Telepresence: 2019’s new buzzword

Facetime on an iPhone is considered telepresence, so it isn’t exactly new, but Temi’s robo-butler is the perfect example of a long-developed submarket finally gettin’ in the mix while the gettin’s growin’.

In 2017, the overall telepresence robot market was valued at $129m; by 2023, it’s expected to reach $312m. But its core growth comes from an increasing demand in the healthcare industry — not for home-bots that can field Spotify requests.

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