Dubai-based robotics and autonomous technology start-up Micropolis has raised $4 million in new investment round led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm Mindrock Capital.
The funding will help the company to advance its core technology and expand the product portfolio. It will be used to accelerate commercial production capability, improve research and development activities and finance new business development strategies, the start-up said.
“Securing this funding reflects the confidence of stakeholders and investors in the advanced solutions and technology offered by the company in the fields of AI [artificial technology] and robotics,” said Egor Romanyuk, chief executive of Micropolis.
“This investment will enhance the company’s plans and portfolio of projects designed to develop autonomous vehicles, which will impact the operations of various key industries.”
Established in 2014 in Dubai Internet City, Micropolis aims to be a major contributor to the UAE government's technology-driven initiatives, especially those aimed at achieving the objectives of the country’s AI strategy.
In November, the UAE approved a temporary licence to test self-driving vehicles on the country's roads, after the plan was authorised by the Cabinet.
The Emirates plans to make 25 per cent of transport autonomous by 2030, a move that began in 2016.
In 2019, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, issued a directive to regulate the testing of self-driving vehicles in the emirate.
A fleet of driverless shuttles was tested in Sharjah last year.
“We also support the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s strategy, aimed at boosting the UAE's industrial sector and transforming the UAE into a regional and global hub for future industries, through the development of advanced AVs and intensifying R&D efforts in the field of AI,” Mr Romanyuk said.
Micropolis specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing autonomous utility robots. It intends to bring the industry streams to the region to eventually be able to build the high-tech product in the Emirates.
“We are always looking for new investment opportunities, especially those in which we are able to leverage our sector specific experience to enhance growth,” said Grigorii Trubkin, managing partner of Mindrock Capital.
“Having a good number of unicorns in our portfolio, we know exactly what needs to be done for our portfolio companies to achieve that milestone … we believe Micropolis has tremendous growth potential and will become one of the future pioneers in the AV industry."