AMP Robotics has raised $91 million in corporate equity in a Series C financing, led by Congruent Ventures and Wellington Management as well as new and existing investors including Blue Earth Capital, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Tao Capital Partners, XN, Sequoia Capital, GV, Range Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners. This new round of funding follows a $55 million Series B financing led by XN in January 2021.
AMP will use the latest funding to scale its business operations while continuing its international expansion. The demand for robotics to retrofit existing recycling infrastructure continues to thrive. Among the historic demand for recycled commodities of all types, the industry needs capacity to meet the 2025 goals of consumer packaged goods companies that have committed to the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. The company’s core technology business has grown accordingly; the new capital will enhance manufacturing capacity to support a fleet of approximately 275 robots around the world and further AMP’s ongoing development of AI-enabled automation applications for recycling, like AMP Vortex, the company’s latest innovation for the recovery of film and flexible packaging. AMP also has three production facilities in the Denver, Atlanta, and Cleveland metropolitan areas; the funding will help drive further growth of the company’s secondary sortation business in the United States.
“Our focus from the outset has been our application of AI-powered automation to economically and sustainably improve our global recycling system,” said Matanya Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics. “We’ve been fortunate to attract a passionate team, loyal customers, and visionary investors along the way. With this new funding, we’ll accelerate our efforts to modernize and expand our recycling infrastructure, aiding society’s path to a circular economy.”
AMP’s proprietary technology applies computer vision and deep learning to identify and recover plastics, cardboard, paper, cans, cartons, and many other types of containers and packaging reclaimed for raw material processing. The company’s AI platform, AMP Neuron, has recognized more than 50 billion objects in real-world conditions, making it the largest known dataset of recyclable materials for machine learning.
Data is seen as key to improving recycling and recovery rates for a circular economy. As part of the National Recycling Strategy released last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited measurement standardization and increased data collection as one of its five objectives. AMP continues to break new ground in the application of data for recycling with its material characterization software, which digitizes the real-time flow of recyclables with precision and consistency. Better data provides opportunities to identify gaps in material capture, transparency on what recyclables are and are not recycled, and a basis for standardized measurement—all vital to improving the national recycling system.
The strength of AMP’s AI also makes secondary sorting technically and economically feasible. Through its secondary sortation model, AMP recovers mixed paper, metals, and a portfolio of #1-#7 plastics in a variety of form factors and attributes with high precision and purity, with a special focus on plastic blends uniquely enabled by AI. The company resells these commodities, including bespoke chemical and polymer blends needed by processors and manufacturers, to end-market buyers.
Brian Barlow, co-founder and co-CEO of SIP, added, “Given our unique focus on technology-enabled infrastructure systems, we’ve supported AMP since its early seed fundraise and seen it grow AI into an essential piece of the industry. We look forward to continuing to provide strategic guidance about how its technology can be commercially scaled into the physical environment, including AMP’s secondary facilities.”
In 2022, AMP expanded its leadership team with the addition of key hires to lead engineering, finance, and people. Josh Hollin joined the company as vice president of engineering; he most recently served as vice president of engineering and global product launch teams at Flex, a leader in technology innovation, supply chain, and manufacturing solutions. Beth Dec joined as vice president of people from Vail Resorts, where she was vice president of HR shared services and talent acquisition. Regina Madigan brings more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance, spanning publicly traded, private, and international corporations, to her role as vice president of finance; she was most recently vice president of finance and controller for Paragon 28 during the company’s initial public offering.
In a move representative of the industry’s strong adoption of AI and robotics technology, AMP recently expanded its partnership with Waste Connections, its largest customer. Since late 2020, Waste Connections has booked or deployed 50 of AMP’s high-speed robotics systems on plastic, fiber, and residue lines, becoming the largest operator of AI-guided robotics in the industry.