Norwegian AI and robotics startup 1X has successfully raised $100 million in a Series B funding round, aimed at expanding manufacturing capabilities and accelerating the market entry of its humanoid androids, NEO and EVE. The funding, supported by investors like EQT Ventures, Samsung NEXT, and Nistad Group, is expected to propel 1X's production volume from dozens to hundreds of units per month.
1X, founded in 2014 and backed by OpenAI's startup fund, specializes in bipedal service robots designed for safe interaction with humans in various settings, from factories to homes. The company's previous Series A funding round, led by OpenAI and Tiger Global in March, secured $25 million. With the latest injection, 1X has raised over $125 million in less than a year.
Led by former DARPA robotics expert Bernt Øivind Børnich, 1X combines proprietary hardware with AI architectures to enable its androids to perform complex domestic tasks, such as laundry and coffee preparation. Safety is a top priority, with the robots designed to operate safely alongside humans. Standing at about 167 centimeters tall, these androids prioritize functionality along with aesthetics.
Despite being in the early stages, the company has already secured enterprise contracts for manufacturing and security applications. Its broader vision includes tapping into the mainstream consumer market for everyday assistance robots.
Bernt Øivind Børnich highlighted the uniqueness of 1X, emphasizing that their androids can be safely deployed alongside humans, opening up new consumer markets. He noted that 1X has surpassed AI models like ChatGPT, focusing on creating sophisticated products with proven commercial traction.
Apart from increasing production capacity, the Series B funds will support ongoing research and development initiatives, as well as attracting top talent to further strengthen 1X's position in the competitive AI and robotics landscape. Despite market challenges, the company remains committed to advancing the capabilities of its humanoid robots and realizing their potential in various applications.