The new startup, RobotAppStore is an online marketplace for apps pertaining to robotics, and now the company has raised enough money to get its business off the ground. Grishin Robotics, an investment group dedicated to funding businesses dealing with robots, has given $250,000 to the RobotAppStore, allowing the startup to become a marketable reality.
Mail.ru CEO Dmitry Grishin is the man behind this move, and he created Grishin Robotics exactly for this purpose, but with an even greater vision: to raise $25 million to drive innovation in the robotics industry.
Of course, RobotAppStore is still looking for investors, but the investment from Grishin is exciting for all involved, and a gigantic step in the right direction.
“We are interested in the team behind this company,” said Grishin. “The idea of a robot app store is a very unique proposal for the market. The more opportunities you create for using robots, the bigger the market will grow.”
Currently, there are only about 30 million robots in use throughout the world, a number based off of information the RobotAppStore has gathered to decide its approach.
Blending the mobile app and robot markets could prove to be a significant hurdle for RobotAppStore to overcome, as the uses for apps and the uses for robots differ, but the founder and CEO of RobotAppStore Elad Inbar insists it can be done: “It’s about being super creative.”
The effort could prove highly profitable, as ABI Research estimates the revenue of the robotics market to hit $18 billion by 2015.
The funding from Grishin will reportedly be put toward building a platform for the app store, as well as increasing the company’s staff. More importantly, the investment will help RobotAppStore pull in partners including app developers and robot inventors.
The idea is not to convince Google or Apple to buy into the robotic-app movement, but instead to create an entirely separate and new market for robots, focused on apps.
“My feeling is that the current state of the market needs something to focus purely on robots. Smartphones will develop very differently,” explained Grishin.
Inbar, on the other hand, sees the robotics and smartphone markets as very similar already: “If you look at the mobile world ten years ago, it was pretty much like the robotics world today. I feel the same trends are happening. If you wanted to develop a ringtone in the past, you had to do this for two Nokia platforms, Sony, Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola and so on. That’s what the robotics world looks like today.”
Smartphones have created their own industry which has revolutionized and dominated the technology market in recent years, and the hope is that with RobotAppStore, the same will happen for robotics.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman