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Robotics startup cofounded by Synapse CEO is raising funds with exaggerated claims about GM ties

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A humanoid robotics startup cofounded by the CEO of bankrupt fintech firm Synapse has canvassed Silicon Valley investors for funds by claiming shut ties and an impending funding from Total Motors — claims rejected by the automaker.

The company, referred to as Foundation Robotics Labs, is searching for the final $1 million in funds for an $11 million seed spherical, in step with documents obtained by CNBC. The investor pitch claimed GM had already committed to an funding, along with the Menlo Park-basically based utterly VC firm Tribe Capital.

“Foundation is building humanoid robots to rob over work that participants end in factories, warehouses and sooner or later homes,” the startup declared.

On high of the seed funding, the fundraising epic acknowledged GM became once dwelling to be Foundation’s first customer, with a focused $300 million aquire expose, and had also supplied access to its factories to relieve them dispute its robots.

“GM agreed to let us obtain the ground fact records of their factories,” Foundation acknowledged in the epic. “Our group is of their Mexico manufacturing facility this week to starting up the assortment direction of. We’d potentially be the finest company on this jam with a dataset love this.”

‘Fabricated’ claims

But, in step with GM and regarded one of many startup’s founders, most of Foundation’s claims related to the automaker are exaggerated or false.

Whereas GM met with Foundation executives about a instances, it hasn’t allowed records assortment from its factories, has no agreements for robot orders and is rarely always planning an funding, in step with a GM spokesman.

“GM has never invested in Foundation Robotics and has no plans to total so,” spokesman Darryll Harrison acknowledged in an emailed observation. “If fact be told, GM has never had an agreement of any variety with the company. Any claims on the contrary are fabricated.”

In a phone interview with CNBC, judicious one of Foundation’s cofounders, Mike LeBlanc, confirmed GM’s parts and acknowledged he became once embarrassed that advertising and marketing and marketing and marketing materials existed that overstated their relationship.

“The engineering stuff we now dangle accomplished is de facto improbable, and or no longer it’s the bedrock of what this company will be,” LeBlanc acknowledged. “That, to me is what Foundation Robotics is.”

Contemporary Foundation

Foundation became once began in April by Synapse CEO Sankaet Pathak, Tribe Capital CEO Arjun Sethi, and LeBlanc, cofounder of Cobalt Robotics, a maker of self sustaining security guards, in step with the company’s fundraising pitch.

Or no longer it’s raising money at a time when American companies gaze to automate more of their labor: 25% of capital spending by industrial companies in the arrival years will be on automated systems, in step with McKinsey.

The deceptive fundraising pitch became once shared in an electronic mail community with about 1,500 startup executives and investors this month, in step with judicious one of many recipients. The contents of the epic were confirmed by any individual with tell knowledge of Tribe Capital.

Tribe Capital and its cofounder Sethi declined to observation, whereas Pathak didn’t reply to messages searching for observation.

Fintech meltdown

The robotics startup finds itself in the spotlight after the implosion of Pathak’s other company, Synapse, which enabled fintech producers love Mercury and Dave to provide banking products and services by connecting them to FDIC-backed banks.

Cofounded by Pathak in 2014, Synapse went bankrupt earlier this yr after some of its preferrred customers, including Mercury, left its platform amid disagreements over customer balances.

The mess has left more than 100,000 Americans with a blended $265 million in deposits locked out of their accounts for more than a month, in step with a trustee appointed to oversee the firm’s financial ruin proceedings.

Making matters worse, there is an $85 million shortfall between what partner banks of Synapse are maintaining and what depositors are owed, and no answers but on what took dwelling to the lacking funds, in step with the trustee.

Pathak’s cross to his subsequent enterprise, coming on the heels of the tranquil-ongoing Synapse failure, has raised eyebrows among some founders and investors in the startup community.

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