- Sector : Hardware | Smart Toys Investment Date : February 2015
- CEO/Founder : Boris Sofman C4 Ventures team : Olivier
- Headquarters : San Francisco, CA Website : www.anki.com
What they were doing
Anki’s dream was to bring artificial intelligence and consumer robotics into our everyday life. Anki’s first product was Anki Overdrive, based on an innovative technology that brings together video games and physical toys. Using a smartphone, the user could race a real toy car around Anki’s track, challenge friends, or play against other cars controlled by Anki’s AI.
They launched Cozmo, a palm-sized social robot that could recognise its user and amuse him with complex facial expressions, a host of emotions, and his own voice and language. All you needed to make him come to life was a compatible Android or iOS device. You could also see what was under Comzo’s hood as Anki released a free SDK allowing anyone to tap into his power! After shipping millions of units of this Wall-e-like robot, Anki released a more autonomous version called Vector which was intended to be a true robotic sidekick.
Despite these past successes, Anki did not find significant funding to support future product development. They had to put an end to their incredible adventures in April 2019 after a significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor.
How we met
We came across Anki at their debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2013, which made us dream as if we were kids again. Following their success in their home market, we helped them expand to Europe.
Furthermore, we came to establish a close relationship with Boris, the CEO and Co-Founder. Boris is one of the most brilliant founders we’ve ever met but remains approchable and down-to-earth. After all, it is not all founders who send us a picture of their babies when they are born.