Jeff Bezos, Nvidia join OpenAI in funding humanoid robot startup Figure AI

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Jeff Bezos, Nvidia join OpenAI in funding humanoid robot startup Figure AI

Figure AI, also backed by ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and Microsoft MSFT.O, is raising about $675 million in a funding round that carries a pre-money valuation of about $2 billion, according to the report.

Tech giants including Amazon, Nvidia, and Microsoft are pouring investments into startup Figure AI, which specialises in creating human-like robots. The venture, also supported by OpenAI and backed by a consortium of investors, is in the midst of securing approximately $675 million in funding, valuing the company at around $2 billion, as reported by Bloomberg.

According to the report, Jeff Bezos, through his firm Explore Investments LLC, has committed $100 million, while Microsoft is injecting $95 million. Nvidia and an Amazon-related fund are each contributing $50 million to the cause. The surge in interest in artificial intelligence startups follows the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a widely popular chatbot launched in November 2022, prompting investors to explore opportunities in this burgeoning sector.

Despite earlier contemplations of acquisition, OpenAI has opted to invest $5 million in Figure. The company’s support is bolstered by a host of other backers, including Intel’s venture capital arm, LG Innotek, Samsung’s investment group, and venture firms Parkway Venture Capital and Align Ventures.

Furthermore, contributions from ARK Venture Fund, Aliya Capital Partners, and Tamarack underline the broad investor interest in Figure AI. However, when approached for comment, major players such as Amazon, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Intel remained tight-lipped, while Figure AI and other entities mentioned in the report refrained from immediate responses to Reuters’ inquiries.

Figure AI, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, has been making strides in the development of versatile humanoid robots capable of navigating various environments and executing diverse tasks, from warehouse operations to retail functions. In its initial external funding round last year, the company raised $70 million led by Parkway Venture Capital, indicating early confidence in its innovative approach to robotics technology

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