Former Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt Returns to Robotics Realm, Raises $150 Million for Household Robot Company

By Madz Dizon

May 13, 2024 10:52 PM EDT

Former Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt Returns to Robotics Realm, Raises $150 Million for Househoild Robot Company
Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt speaks onstage during Day 2 of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 at Moscone Center on September 6, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo : Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Kyle Vogt, the founder and former CEO of self-driving company Cruise LLC, has returned to the world of robotics.

However, this time his focus is on creating robots for homes instead of roads. 

Cruise Founder Kyle Vogt Launches New Venture

According to Vogt, he recently launched a new venture called the Bot Company, along with Paril Jain, former AI tech lead at Tesla Inc., and Luke Holoubek, a former software engineer at Cruise. The Bot Company is focused on creating robots to assist with household tasks.

Vogt said the founders have secured an impressive $150 million in seed funding from notable investors such as Quiet Capital, Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, Stripe co-founder John Collison, and Spark Capital's Nabeel Hyatt.

According to Forbes, six sources have revealed that the startup is venturing into the development of hardware and software for at-home robots capable of performing tasks such as housekeeping and laundry.

According to a source with direct knowledge, the company is exploring the possibility of incorporating robots with human-like appearances, and other alternative designs.

The business idea revolves around selling robots directly to consumers and allowing users to customize the robot's functionalities and features by submitting requests through a chat server similar to Discord.

The company, which is only a few months old, has been focusing on presenting a conceptual vision to investors and has not started generating revenue yet. According to industry observers, the founders' experience in developing self-driving vehicles at Cruise and Tesla directly applies to the technical challenge of standalone robots.

Vogt is venturing into the world of robotics, a field that has experienced a significant surge in investment in recent months. Many venture capitalists are placing their bets on the potential of AI to revolutionize the physical world through the development of robots.

The significant advancements in AI's ability to generate text, images, videos, and audio in recent years have fueled this growing optimism.

Vogt has always had a keen interest in robotics, and the company provides him with a fresh start. During his time as a grade schooler in Kansas, he had the opportunity to showcase his skills on the popular robot combat TV show BattleBots.

During his time at MIT, he had the opportunity to intern at iRobot, the renowned company behind the creation of the Roomba.

According to Vox, he joined the team at Twitch after successfully convincing the other cofounders with his idea for a live-streaming camera. In 2013, he embarked on a new venture called Cruise, where he served as CEO in two separate periods - first before the acquisition, and then again in 2021. 

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Kyle Vogt's Cruise LCC Departure

The former CEO of Cruise has departed from the robotaxi business he established, which is now under the control of General Motors.

This decision comes in the wake of an unfortunate incident in October, where one of the company's cars was involved in an accident with a pedestrian.

Following the incident, regulators took swift action and suspended Cruise's license to operate in California.

As a result, the company made the decision to temporarily halt its operations in all three states where it provided paid services, as well as suspending testing in other locations. Vogt stepped down from their position in November.

The company Cruise was established by Vogt in 2013 and later acquired by GM in 2016. It was claimed that Vogt's team, along with GM's automaker operations, had the potential to develop a fleet of robotaxis that could generate $50 billion in annual revenue by the end of the decade, Bloomberg reported.

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