Recycling Robot Company – AMP Robotics Raises $55 Million

By Bruce Harpham Thursday, January 7, 2021

AMP Robotics has raised $55 million from investors in a Series B financing round. The Denver, Colorado-based startup is working on developing robots to improve recycling. The company plans to sell its products to material recovery facility (MRF) operators, of which there are over 300 in the United States.

Major VC Investors Back AMP

AMP Robotics is positioned to grow its business quickly, thanks to the support it enjoys from well-connected investors. In 2019, the startup received its first significant funding from Sequoia Capital. Their previous exits include social media companies like Snap (NYSE: SNAP) and LinkedIn (acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion in 2016).

In its Series B funding round, AMP Robotics received investment from Valor Equity Partners, GV, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, Congruent Ventures, and Closed Loop Partners. GV is the venture capital investment division of Google (stock ticker: NASDAQ: GOOGL). In total, AMP Robotics has received $74 million in funding from investors.

Why AI Matters for Recycling

Correctly sorting recycled products is one of the most challenging tasks in recycling. After paper and paper-related products, the US's most common recycled items include glass, plastics, and metals. If materials are not sorted correctly, the efficiency of the recycling process will be reduced. AMP robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology are working to solve the sorting problem with recognition.

If AMP robotics is successful, it may create a new niche for material recovery facility operators. AMP is working on developing the ability to recognize specific brands in waste. If that capability is developed, it might enable brands that produce a high volume of packaged goods like Procter & Gamble to improve their recycling efficiency.

How AMP Robots Improve Recycling

AMP Robotics currently has two robot systems: the AMP Cortex and the AMP Neuron. The Cortex comprises three connected components: cameras, robotic limbs to pick up objects, and an AI system. The Cortex system is designed for fast installation — it can be put in place in 48 hours.

The AMP Neuron is the company's AI platform designed for robots in industrial settings. The system's image recognition capability can distinguish between different brands and SKUs. The ability to recognize different SKUs may give AMP the ability to sell or license its technology to other markets like warehouses and retailers in the future.

AMP Offers Leasing to Improve Sales

Buying new equipment, especially AI-powered robots, may represent a significant investment for recycling facilities. AMP has partially addressed this concern by offering its equipment on lease. The company's leasing arrangements involve monthly payments of $6,000 or less and five-year (i.e., 60 months or 66 months) terms. It is unclear whether AMP partners with a bank to handle credit decisions for their business or if they handle these decisions internally.

The company is currently hiring for multiple positions, including three sales roles, two of which are based in Colorado. The company appears to be focusing on building its business in its home state for now.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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