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April 22, 2024

LG Electronics invests $60 mln into US startup Bear Robotics

PUBLISHED : March 12, 2024 - 15:04

UPDATED : March 12, 2024 - 15:47

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Bear Robotics` automatic serving robots Servi and Servi Mini (Bear Robotics)

LG Electronics said Tuesday it has made a $60 million strategic investment in Silicon Valley-based startup Bear Robotics in a move to strengthen its business capabilities in the booming market of artificial intelligence-based service robots.

Under a new stock purchase agreement, LG Electronics will become the largest single shareholder in the US startup specializing in AI-driven autonomous service robots.

"Rather than seeking short-term returns, this strategic investment is aimed at bolstering LG Electronics' portfolio for long-term growth," the company said in a release.

Founded in 2017 by former Google's software engineer John Ha, Bear Robotics offers AI-powered indoor delivery robot services in the United States, South Korea and Japan.

The startup is well known for its expertise in platformizing service robotics software, robot fleet management technology and cloud-based control solutions.

LG Electronics said the latest investment is also in line with its long-term strategy to transition from a hardware-centric to a software-oriented company, following its exit from the mobile phone manufacturing business in 2021.

The move is also part of a broader strategy outlined by LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan in January, which emphasized exploring investments or mergers and acquisitions within the service robotics market.

LG Electronics has already taken steps into this promising sector, operating a guide robot service at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, since 2017 and introducing delivery and disinfection solutions for diverse commercial settings.

The global service robotics market is anticipated to grow from $36.2 billion in 2021 to $103.3 billion by 2026, according to LG Electronics. (Yonhap)

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