Pasadena Robotic Startup Raises $3.6 Million

Published : Friday, December 21, 2018 | 5:49 AM

Pasadena-based Elementary Robotics, a robotics platform startup founded in 2017, announced it has obtained $3.6 million in new seed funding led by Fika Ventures and Fathom Capital, with participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures,, Osage University Partners, and Stage Venture Partners.

The startup had previously closed $1.2 million in pre-seed funding in October 2017.

Toyota AI Ventures’ investment in Elementary Robotics comes as part of its recent “call for innovation” with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), according to a statement by Elementary Robotics Wednesday.

“We launched the first call with TRI’s mobile manipulation team to give talented entrepreneurs a nudge in both direction and capital to make assistive robots more useful, safe, and affordable” Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, said in the statement. “Arye (Barnehama, Elementary Robotics CEO and co-founder) and the Elementary Robotics team share our commitment to improve the quality of human life through AI and robotics. They have the talent, expertise, and vision to deliver on that commitment.”

Elementary Robotics also announced Eva Ho, General Partner at Fika Ventures, will be joining Barnehama, and Bill Gross, Idealab founder, on the company’s board as part of the raise. Gross is currently Elementary Robotics Chairman.

“Building cutting-edge robotic systems to augment and amplify human’s ability to perform a wide range of advanced and complex tasks, Elementary is well-positioned to become one of the most meaningful deep tech companies in Los Angeles,” Ho said.

Elementary Robotics now is staffed by a team of experts who come from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, and the ArtCenter College of Design, all in Pasadena, and other roboticists who work building “robust, intelligent robot assistants that are affordable and human,” according to the company website.

Barnehama said Elementary Robotics aims to be the world leader in the next generation of assistive robotics, which will be “lower-cost, human-safe, and driven by software innovations, such as machine learning, AI, and computer vision.”

Barnehama previously built and sold a wearable technology startup Melon to DAQRI, an industrial AR (augmented reality) startup that has raised $275 million, according to Crunchbase. While at DAQRI, Arye headed up the company’s hardware and software design department.

For more information about Elementary Robotics, visit

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