1X, an AI and robotics company specializing in humanoid androids, has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round to boost manufacturing capacity and accelerate its path to market.
The Norway-based startup, which is backed by OpenAI's startup fund, intends to use the capital injection to increase its production volume from dozens to hundreds of units per month. Investors include EQT Ventures and participants from a secondary transaction like Samsung NEXT and early-stage investor Nistad group. The funding round comes on the heels of 1X's $25 million Series A led by OpenAI and Tiger Global last March. In less than a year, the company has now raised over $125 million.
Founded in 2014, 1X builds bipedal service robots named EVE and NEO that can safely operate alongside humans in settings from factories to homes. Led by former DARPA robotics expert Bernt Øivind Børnich, the company combines proprietary hardware with AI architectures that allow its androids to perform complex domestic routines like laundry and coffee preparation.
At about 167 centimeters tall, these androids are not just about aesthetics; safety is a paramount concern. Børnich emphasizes, "We are cloning human thought and behavior into a machine, alongside providing foundation models for robotic safety." This approach reflects a deep understanding of the ethical and practical challenges in robotics.
The latest funding aligns with 1X's goal of demonstrating commercial viability for its human-safe androids. While still in early stages, the company is already securing enterprise contracts for manufacturing and security applications. It ultimately aims to unleash the mainstream consumer potential of everyday assistance robots.
“What is unique about us is that we have an android that can be safely deployed with humans, which opens up new consumer markets,” noted Børnich, adding that 1X has gone beyond ChatGPT-level AI. “These are complicated products looking for a market, but we now have commercial traction which previously hadn't been proven out.”
In addition to ramping up production, the Series B will support ongoing R&D and recruiting top talent, even amid the current downturn.