Denmark-based Blue Ocean Robotics, a company focused on developing, producing, and selling professional service robots, announced on Wednesday that it has secured DKK 335M (approx €45M) in a fresh round of funding. The investment came from A.P. Møller Holding.
With this round, Blue Ocean Robotics currently sits at a valuation of DKK 2.05B (approx €275.53M). The investment by A.P. Møller Holding has been provided as a convertible loan, which can be exchanged for equity interest.
Jan Nielsen, CIO at A.P. Møller Holding, says, “Blue Ocean Robotics has developed several robot solutions that can automate and streamline critical and routine tasks, including in healthcare systems. We look forward to following and supporting the company on its interesting and thriving journey.”
The raised capital will help the Odense-based company to accelerate growth and product development.
“World’s first robot venture factory”
Service robots are part of the solution when productivity needs to be increased in the labour market. The working environment can be improved and the quality of the delivered service can reach a better level. This is where Blue Ocean Robotics steps in.
Founded in 2013 by Claus Risager and John Erland Østergaard, Blue Ocean Robotics invests resources and capital in the robotics industry by selecting a portfolio of robotic projects.
The company incubates and helps projects to develop robotic products, commercialise and introduce the robots to the markets. Once the project becomes successful sell-, license- or spin-out, Blue Ocean Robotics partners with them to help them commercialise internationally and develop next generation robots.
Some of its portfolio includes brands like UVD Robots, a mobile robot for disinfection, GoBe Robots, a mobile telepresence robot for communication, social inclusion, and CO2 reductions, and PTR Robots, a mobile robot for safe patient handling and rehabilitation.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company came up with a UV sterilising robot that can kill virus cells and sanitise hospital wards sans any chemicals. The company has reported that currently it is working on four new types of service robots.
The company reports that its robot sales have grown twentyfold in the period 2018 to 2021 and this has led the company’s current turnover to almost DKK 200M.
Mobile robots helps staff to optimise disinfection
Blue Ocean Robotics claims that its range of mobile robots helps staff to optimise disinfection, telepresence, and the safe transfer and rehabilitation of patients. The company has a wide base of customers, including commercial cleaning company ISS, hospitals, schools, airports, hotel chains, production companies, and shopping centres.
CEO Claus Risager says, “A.P. Møller Holding provides us with even more financial muscle to consolidate and expand the market share for all of our robots. The expansion of UVD Robots must be accelerated, and we’ve done this with the brands, PTR Robots and GoBe Robots, two new robots, which are now also being made available on the global market. At the same time, by optimising the physical robots we are improving quality, production costs and the opportunity to deliver top-quality service for all of our robots at the customers’ locations.”
Risager says the company will be launching an online platform in 2022 to facilitate customer experience in a cloud-based system. He believes that the robots should be integrated in the customers’ workflows and that the technology should create the maximum value at the customers’ locations.
About the investor
This is the first time A.P. Møller Holding has invested in a robotics company. Over the years, A.P. Møller has donated hundreds of millions to facilitate robotics research at the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute at the University of Southern Denmark.
Claus Risager says, “If it was not for A.P. Møller, Denmark would not have a robotics cluster or a robotics industry. Together with the local university in Odense, the firm has also made a huge difference as a driving force, with its generous donations for robotics research and development, and also as a user of the developed solutions. It has been incredibly exciting and rewarding to be part of the robotics adventure in Odense since the 1980s, when I developed welding robots for the Odense Steel Shipyard.”
The Danish robotics cluster currently consists of more than 300 robotics and automation companies.