Technology and Humanity is The Future of Care and Wellness — Our Investment in Embodied

Since we launched Toyota AI Ventures, one year ago today, a core part of our thesis has been rooted in the belief that technology, like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, can improve the quality of human life. While we, of course, look for strategic fit and financial return, that’s only part of the equation for us. We also look for passion and purpose.

Put simply, we aim to invest in innovators who ascribe to Steve Job’s quest to make a dent in the universe. Embodied founders, Paolo Pirjanian and Maja Matarić, are truly talented and accomplished entrepreneurs on a mission to revolutionize care and wellness.

So, I am excited to announce that Toyota AI Ventures has invested in Embodied as part of their recent $22M Series A funding round led by Calibrate Ventures. Other investors in Embodied include JAZZ Venture Partners, Osage University Partners, Intel Capital, and Grishin Robotics.

The founders, along with their first-rate team, not only bring deep expertise in assistive robotics research, but also in commercializing consumer robots. Paolo, Embodied’s CEO, is a seasoned entrepreneur who was, most recently, CTO at iRobot. Maja, Chief Science Officer, is a chaired professor of computer science, neuroscience, and pediatrics, as well as vice dean of research at the University of Southern California. Needless to say, we are impressed by their thorough and thoughtful approach to building a business that will make a difference in the lives of their customers, and we’re humbled to welcome Embodied to the Toyota AI Ventures portfolio.

While we can’t yet divulge details about Embodied’s first product, you only need to look at the exceptional team of roboticists, AI experts, neuroscientists, and creative animators that have joined the team to see the company’s off to a formidable start. The company is committed to creating a better future, starting with company culture built on openness, strong ethics, and collaboration. Read more about Embodied’s values, and check out their job listings because they’re hiring!

PS: If you’re the founder of a robotics startup hoping to partner with Toyota AI Ventures, learn more about the “call for innovationwe unveiled today.