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Humanoid robot company Figure eyes $500M investment led by Microsoft and OpenAI

Figure AIs humanoid robot

Humanoid robotics company Figure is negotiating to raise $500 million in a massive funding round led by two of the biggest names in tech. According to people familiar with the talks, Microsoft and OpenAI will lead an investment that could value Figure at nearly $1.9 billion.

Microsoft will reportedly invest approximately $95 million, while OpenAI is considering contributing $5 million. The deal would make Figure one of the highest-valued AI startups globally if it goes through. The company last raised $70 million in funding in 2023 at a valuation of over $1 billion.

Founded in 2022, Figure is working to develop dexterous and safe humanoid robots. Its first robot, Figure 01, is designed to perform jobs that are too dangerous for humans, such as construction and firefighting. The company believes its robotics technology could help address labor shortages in various industries.

The new investment will allow Figure AI to significantly expand its research and development activities. The company currently employs a team of more than 150 roboticists and engineers from disciplines including mechanical engineering, computer vision, and machine learning. Figure hopes to eventually deploy its robots commercially to generate revenue.

With growing interest and investment, the robotics industry is booming. Just this month, another big player, OpenAI-backed 1X, raised $100 million for its robots. Competitors like Xiaomi and Elon Musk's Tesla are also advancing humanoid robot technologies.

Xiaomi's first humanoid robot, CyberOne, was unveiled in 2022. The Chinese company claims the robot has enhanced vision and the ability to recognize human emotions. It can mimic human movements due to its real-time reaction speed.

On the other hand, Tesla's humanoid robot Optimus first walked across the stage in 2022. Yesterday, Musk shared a video on X showing the final version of the robot, saying, "Going for a walk with Optimus."

Source: Bloomberg

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