A Look Back at Formant’s 2023

With 2023 officially coming to a close, we’d like to take a brief moment to recap all that took place this year at Formant. We experienced plenty of growth as you may have seen in the news, but there were plenty of other moments we fondly look back on.

Amidst all the changes this year, our team was able to celebrate some other wins- some you may know, others that we haven’t touched on as much. Read about our year in review, below…

 

$21M Funding Raise

Starting off with one of the most exciting highlights, we completed a successful $21M raise in early October, led by BMW i Ventures, with Intel Capital, GS Futures, and existing investors also participating. 

The raise followed a year of incredible growth; in the past 12 months, we’ve gained traction across blue chip companies, including Knightscope, Blue River Technology, and BP. With this raise, our team will be expanding our focus to meet the needs of enterprise robotic fleets, releasing several features to accelerate the current growing adoption of intelligent robots into large organizations. 

Our CEO Jeff Linnell summed up this exciting growth best: 

“In the last 12 months we’ve 10x’d the number of devices on our platform. I’m extremely proud of this metric, and I think it’s significant for two reasons. First, it serves as another proof point that robot adoption continues to accelerate. Second, it shows that modern robot operations (with robust data collection, teleoperation, and multiple teams collaborating in one tool) is possible at scale.”

Needless to say, we’re excited to head into the new year with the support of our new investors!

 

SoftBank Robotics America + Formant 

We meant it when we mentioned enterprise growth. As an exciting follow-up to our raise, right before the holiday we announced our partnership with SoftBank Robotics America to power the portfolio of solutions SoftBank Robotics offers to help businesses transform the way they get work done.

As the leading robot management system, Formant was strategically selected as a technology partner to help lay the foundation for integrating advanced business intelligence, additional software services, and artificial intelligence, so its customers can maximize their investments in robotics and work transformation.

Brady Watkins, President of SoftBank Robotics America said of the partnership, 

"SoftBank Robotics has proven that technology, data and white glove support are the core of driving measured business value and service with this industry. This partnership with Formant allows us to evolve our solutions with new and innovative services that deliver enterprise grade automation at scale. The focus of the resulting solutions will be to allow our clients to provide more integrated services to their end users.”

We look forward to what this partnership will bring for us both in 2024, and to apply our lessons learned from managing enterprise fleets to those in the future. 

 

Formant ‘Round The World 

2023 was the year Formant made it around the world… or, at least part of the way. 

Kicking off the year, a team of InFormants exhibited at ICRA in London- as always, we enjoyed our time meeting with the community and exploring the city after hours. 

Summertime was filled with a few notable robotics events as well, as InFormant visited Automate in Detroit, MI, and our President Kate MeLynda attended Automatica overseas. 

In September, FIRA featured some of the best agricultural automation witnessed by our fantastic Head of Customer Success, Anne. She was able to meet with plenty vendors, and even have the rare opportunity to take a quick ride on farm-ng Amiga.   

Finally, closing out the year in October was two of the largest robotics events of the year in the same week: RoboBusiness in Santa Clara, CA and ROSCon in New Orleans, LA. In California, Jeff featured in a panel on Generative AI’s impact on robotics, where he was able to impart his opinions alongside other industry leaders.

Across the country, another team of InFormants exhibited to the ROS community, and of course, raffling a Turtlebot Lite to one lucky winner. 

We’re very grateful for the opportunity to have seen the robotics community so often this year, and look forward to meeting even more new faces at events in 2024

 

Generative AI Meets Formant: Theopolis

AI clearly took the world by storm in 2023. As the robotics industry continues to grapple with how best to apply its intelligence to robotic solutions, we took a close look at how AI could most benefit Formant users. 

We released Theopolis, our integration with generative AI, in May. Theopolis provides both the standardized structured Formant workflows enabling users to manage robotic fleets at scale, as well as the new exploratory workflows that allow users to ask exploratory questions of their robot data to receive immediate insights. Through this feature, any operator or user of Formant can become a data scientist, using generative AI to dig deeper into their data and uncover insights faster than ever before. 

 

New Team Members

It wasn’t only a year of growth on the device end for Formant; we also welcomed plenty of new InFormants to our team! 

Fueled by platform growth, almost every department gained new faces from around the world to support their work. Joining our leadership team this year was Nick Brachet as Head of Engineering, and Head of Customer Success, Anne Puyt. We grew our team by nearly 30 percent, adding roles across Product, Engineer, Design, and Customer Success, we are incredibly grateful for every one of our new team members. 

If you’d like to stay updated on who joins the team next, keep an eye on our LinkedIn, where we’ll be posting welcome announcements. 

2023 was an amazing year for all of us at Formant, and though it may be cliche, we are all looking forward to the new faces, growth, and robots the new year will bring. Thank you for following along on our journey thus far; we wish you all the best in 2024!

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