Sanctuary AI Funding Surpasses $140M With Latest Investment

The company plans to use the funds to accelerate the development of its AI-powered humanoid robots

Ben Wodecki, Junior Editor - AI Business

July 4, 2024

2 Min Read
A Phoenix robot working on car parts
Sanctuary AI

Humanoid robot developer Sanctuary AI has surpassed $140 million in total funding following its latest strategic investment from Canadian firms BDC Capital and InBC Investment Corp.

The Vancouver-based company plans to use the new funds to accelerate its progress in "bringing AI into the physical world," particularly through the development of its AI-powered humanoid robots.

“Following the incredible impact of pre-trained transformers on the digital world over the last seven years, with acceleration in the last few, we see AI in the physical world as being the next major frontier for impacting the way we work and live,” said Olivia Norton, Sanctuary AI’s co-founder and chief technology and product officer. 

Founded in 2018, the Vancouver, Canada-based startup is working on general-purpose robots, including a humanoid system called Phoenix.

In May, Microsoft announced it was collaborating with Sanctuary AI to develop AI models for general-purpose robots, including Phoenix. 

Sanctuary is developing what it describes as large behavior models, which would allow robotics systems to learn a variety of different tasks from real-world experiences.

The startup’s current underlying AI enables Phoenix to learn tasks in less than 24 hours in what would previously have taken weeks.

Related:Microsoft, Sanctuary AI Team to Advance General Purpose Robots

“With aging populations, plummeting birth rates and a changing view on work, intelligent embodied systems, or general-purpose robots will play an important role in provincial and national productivity,” said Norton.

BDC Capital and InBC join existing investors including Accenture, Verizon Ventures and Workday Ventures, among others.

The government of Canada also provided the company with $30 million from its Strategic Innovation Fund in November 2022.

“Sanctuary is a great example of the creative and innovative spirit in British Columbia and by investing in leading innovators like Sanctuary we will continue to grow our technology sector, creating new jobs and anchoring IP in the province for a stronger, more sustainable economy that works for everyone,” said Leah Nguyen, InBC’s chief investment officer.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Junior Editor - AI Business

Ben Wodecki is the junior editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to junior editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others.

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