Rewired targets growth-stage AI ventures
Rewired, a robotics focused venture studio that invests in growth-stage technology ventures, is looking to add new artificial intelligence and robotics investments to its portfolio.
The portfolio currently encompasses innovations in machine learning, robotics, bionics, smart sensors, mapping and localisation in the UK and USA.
Backed by investors who believe that analysts are underestimating the prospects of AI, Rewired seeks to make investments of between USD5 million and USD30 million. Its status as a venture studio means that Rewired uniquely seeks to attain a substantial or majority position as an investor, and to then provide long term funding and expertise. The Rewired approach is to alleviate founders from the burden of constant fundraising so they can focus on growth, whilst avoiding the dilution that VC’s typically accept during multiple funding rounds.
Rewired is seeking to back ventures that require growth capital to scale existing proprietary solutions that have already been proven, with a clear pathway to profitable growth. Experienced founders and a management team with commercial credibility in the intended marketplace are also a prerequisite for a Rewired investment, as is acceptance that the venture studio seeks to take a significant equity stake and to play a very active role.
Rewired has also made two new appointments in its Swiss office to support future deal flow. Laurent Bischof has joined Rewired as a Board Director. In 2016 Laurent co-founded Bloom, the first AI platform dedicated to strategic analysis of social networks. He also has over 15 years of venture capital experience. Marc-Olivier Bertholet has joined Rewired as a special advisor with over 20 years of international biotech and MedTech experience.
Many of the ventures backed by Rewired have humanitarian applications. In October 2017 Rewired led the funding round for Mountain View-based Aromyx, a venture that has developed olfactory biosensors that enable machines to taste and smell. In 2019 Aromyx completed successful trials of its olfactory sensor technology with a global plastics and chemicals company. Less than 10 per cent of the world’s plastics are currently being recycled, with odour quality being a major barrier to broad-scale recycling. The 2019 trials indicated that the Aromyx technology could help to raise global plastic recycling to between 60 per cent and 80 per cent.
In 2017 Rewired also backed Bristol-based Open Bionics, a robotics manufacturer that has developed the next generation of 3D-printed bionic limbs. The company’s ‘Hero Arm’ is the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arm. Since its fundraising, Open Bionics has expanded and exported bionic arms to the USA, Europe Australia and New Zealand.
Based in London in the United Kingdom and Lausanne in Switzerland, Rewired is funded by investors including the Cascade Global multi-family office and the Kohli Ventures investment vehicle of Tej Kohli. Cascade Global is also an investor in the Rewired.GG sister fund, which in 2019 became Europe largest esports investor when it invested €34m in an esports team.
Laurent Bischof, newly appointed Board Director of Rewired, says: “The majority of Rewired investments are still in stealth mode. But we believe that artificial intelligence and robotics will change everything, from making businesses more efficient to improving healthcare and even extending human life. The ventures that Rewired seeks to back are building the technology platforms that will help to power the new economy.”
Amit Jain, CEO of Cascade Global, says: “There are unprecedented events in the world at the moment and it is vital that we continue to invest in building the future through funds like Rewired. The promise of the artificial intelligence economy offers unprecedented opportunities to improve every aspect of human life and Rewired seeks to back the ventures that will enable this future.”