Industrial AI startup Covariant raises a $40M Series B

Covariant this week announced that it has raised a $40 million Series B, led by Index Ventures. The funding brings the three-year-old Berkeley startup’s total funding up to $67 million. Co-founded by top UC Berkeley professor Pieter Abbeel, the company is dedicated to building autonomy for industrial robotics.

It’s a category that’s growing hotter than ever as more companies look toward robotics and automation as potential ways forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Covariant came out of stealth in January, announcing that it had already deployed its technology to real-world facilities in Europe and North America. In March, the company announced a partnership with top industrial robotics company ABB.

“When we founded Covariant, our goal was to make AI Robotics work autonomously in the real world,” Abbeel says in a release tied to the news. “Having reached that milestone, we see a huge benefit in expanding our universal AI to new use cases, customer environments and industries.”

The new funding will be used to grow Covariant’s headcount and explore additional categories for its tech.