Viam looks beyond robotics with its no-code automation platform

Viam looks beyond robotics with its no-code automation platform post thumbnail image

Because the final time we spoke, Viam didn’t pivot precisely, in response to founder and CEO Eliot Horowitz — it’s extra of a “rebrand.” Roughly six months in the past, the Manhattan-based startup made a concerted effort to broaden its focus. The no-code growth platform beforehand centered its outreach on robotics companies. It’s a big and quickly increasing class, however Horowitz explains that the corporate’s imaginative and prescient is bigger.

“The platform has all the time been — and can all the time be — for a really wide selection of issues, together with robotics, together with IoT and good houses, industrial automation and all these items which have sensors and actuators and compute,” the chief tells TechCrunch. “A while over the summer season, we realized that after we have been emailing or speaking to individuals, once they noticed robotics on our homepage, it principally despatched them right into a tizzy. They have been like, ‘we’re not a robotics firm — we do meals processing, we do PLC automation, we do boats, we’re not robots.’”

Additional complicating messaging was the truth that — whereas the corporate is just named “Viam” — its numerous social media platforms are “Viam Robotics,” owing to the truth that it was unable to safe the four-letter phrase. The agency additionally spent a lot of its preliminary outreach efforts specializing in robotics. Viam’s massive workplace overlooking New York Metropolis’s Lincoln Middle has a lab area, the place members of the native robotics group are invited in to make use of its platform to develop automation functions.

The rebranding included mixing up demos and specializing in new functions past robotics. The record consists of verticals like insurance coverage and marine — the latter hits notably near residence, as he talks to me through Zoom from the bridge of his boat. He provides that the corporate has been on-boarding some massive enterprise organizations, however Viam shouldn’t be but at some extent the place it’s in a position to disclose names.

Actually curiosity stays on the investor aspect. Viam this week introduced a $45 million Sequence B, that includes Union Sq. Ventures and Battery Ventures. The most recent spherical brings the corporate’s whole funding as much as $87 million. Viam says the funding will go towards R&D and ramping up business enterprise deployment. Horowitz tells me that Viam can be actively increasing its 100-person headcount.

He admits that the corporate should still have one thing of a messaging drawback, nevertheless, relating to figuring out a pithier elevator pitch to explain exactly what it’s that Viam’s software program does practically a yr after its business launch.

“I wouldn’t say we don’t have the best reply,” he confesses. “When individuals ask me what I do and what [Viam’s software] does, I normally use an instance from their life. For instance, has your HVAC ever damaged? How do you discover your coffeemaker? If you understand somebody for a minute, you understand one thing of their life the place the software program/{hardware} interface is dangerous. We’re a platform that lives on the intersection of real-world {hardware} and real-world software program and the cloud and machine studying. There is no such thing as a factor like us. There is no such thing as a comparability.”

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