Investment

Three family offices back robotics group, others are warming to the sector

The investment office of one of Israel’s wealthiest women, Ruth Wertheimer, is backing German-based robotics group Synapticon. Other family offices appear to be warming to the sector as well.

Wertheimer’s Amsterdam-based investment group 7-Industries Holding has just committed another sum of money to Synapticon, which makes hardware and software for robotic applications. The investment office together with an unknown investor have committed $11.5 million to Synapticon.

7-Industries had earlier backed Synapticon, which has also received funding in the past from two Geman family offices: Schunk Allied Companies, which is owned by the Schunk family who owns the eponymous German manufacturing business; and LAFAM Holding, which is owned by the Günter Lang family.

Other family offices which have backed robotic groups in the past include:

Pohlad Companies, the Minneapolis-based private investment office of the Pohlad family, bought robotics group PaR Systems, which is involved in the manufacturer of robotic-automation and materials-handling equipment, in 2017.

At the time of the acquisition, Robert Pohlad, said: “We want to invest in companies that make a difference now and in the future. PaR Systems not only fits that criteria but allow us to expand into a new business line that we believe has great long-term potential.”

O.G. Tech Ventures, an investment group set up two years ago by Eyal Ofer, an Israeli billionaire, has invested in Tel Aviv-based Arbe Robotics, which is building car’s eyes and brain to enable them to “see”.

DIG Investments, an investment group controlled by the Persson family, who owns the fashion retailer H&M, invested in Sarcos, a Salt Lake City-based dexterous robotic systems group, last September.

KCK, the family investment group of Nael Kassar, invested $20 million late last year in Pittsburg-based IAM Robotics.

YF Capital, the investment group owned by Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, and David Yu, invested an unspecified amount of money in Shanghai-based robotics company Leyan Technology last year.

Point72 Ventures, an investment group owned by hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, lead an investment round worth $20 million in Via Robotics, a Californian-based robotics group, last August.

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