Listen to this article
Figure, a Calif.-based company building general-purpose humanoids, has closed $70 million in Series A funding. The company, founded by Brett Adcock, will use the funding to develop its Figure 01 humanoid, build out its AI data pipeline for autonomous operations and drive towards commercialization.
The round was led by Parkway Venture Capital and joined by participating investments from Adcock, Aliya Capital, Bold Ventures, Tamarack Global, FJ labs, and KUKA Robotics CEO Till Reuter.
We’ve yet to get our eyes on Figure 01, but according to the company’s early specs, the humanoid will stand 5-feet, 6-inches tall, weigh 60 KG and be able to carry payloads up to 20 KG. Figure is building humanoids designed for initial deployment into the workforce to address labor shortages and to support supply chain on a global scale.
In recent months, Figure made hires across AI, controls, manipulation, perception and commercial operations. The company’s latest hire, Bob Klunk, joined the team as head of warehouse solutions to help bring Figure 01 into its first real-world application. Klunk, former SVP of operations at Geodis, is a fulfillment operations veteran and brings over two decades of warehouse experience to the team.
“We’re focused on investing in companies that are pioneers in AI technology, and we believe that autonomous humanoid robots have the potential to revolutionize the labor economy. We are impressed by the rapid progress that Brett and the team of industry experts at Figure have made in the last year and are thrilled to be a financial partner to provide resources to accelerate the commercialization of Figure 01” says Jesse Coors-Blankenship, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Parkway Venture Capital.
Adcock previously founded Vettery and Archer Aviation. Vettery is an online talent marketplace that was acquired by the Adecco Group in 2018 for $100 million. And Archer Aviation is a publicly-traded company headquartered in San Jose that is developing eVTOL aircraft. Adcock founded Figure in 2022, and the company just recently emerged from stealth mode.
“Figure’s near-term goal is to deploy humanoids into the workforce, and we believe that the structured, repetitive, and often dangerous tasks in warehouses are a great potential first application. This investment round will support the testing of early warehouse solutions and gives us the ability to move and iterate quickly ahead of commercial operations. I look forward to growing this strategic partnership with Parkway and all participating investors to support the success of Figure,” said CEO Adcock.
Dr. Jerry Pratt is Figure’s chief technology officer. Pratt has dedicated his life’s work to robotics and brings 20-plus years of humanoid experience to the team at Figure. Prior to Figure, Pratt was a principal investigator at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). At IHMC, he built a robotics team concentrated around the understanding and modeling of walking and balance, with applications in robotics, human assistive devices, and man-machine interfaces. He was the team lead for the DARPA Robotics Challenge, in which Team IHMC won second place in the finals.
Adcock will be the guest on this week’s episode of The Robot Report Podcast where he discusses the challenges of commercializing humanoids. Figure is part of a handful of companies currently working to build humanoids to perform real-world work. Agility Robotics, which earlier this week named Melonee Wise CTO, is currently the further along with its Digit humanoid that is targeting box-moving applications in warehouses.
Others to keep an eye on include Apprtonik, Sanctuary AI and Tesla. From a mobility standpoint, Boston Dynamics‘ Atlas remains the most sophisticated humanoid ever built, but it remains an R&D project.