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Retail robotics company Bossa Nova announces $17.5M in funding on heels of Walmart tests

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 12:24 p.m.
A Bossa Nova robot scans the shelves at a Walmart. (Photo from Bossa Nova)
Bossa Nova
A Bossa Nova robot scans the shelves at a Walmart. (Photo from Bossa Nova)
Bossa Nova Robotics founder and CTO Sarjoun Skaff poses for a portrait with 'mObi' at the company headquarters in the Strip District on Friday, December 4, 2012.  MObi is a robot Skaff's firm created that self-balances and is designed for studying human-machine interaction.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
Bossa Nova Robotics founder and CTO Sarjoun Skaff poses for a portrait with 'mObi' at the company headquarters in the Strip District on Friday, December 4, 2012. MObi is a robot Skaff's firm created that self-balances and is designed for studying human-machine interaction. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
A detail of Bossa Nova Robotics robot 'mObi' shows the depth sensor that helps to control the robot's movement as seen at Bossa Nova's offices in the Strip District on Friday, December 4, 2012.  MObi is a robot that self-balances and is designed for studying human-machine interaction.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
A detail of Bossa Nova Robotics robot 'mObi' shows the depth sensor that helps to control the robot's movement as seen at Bossa Nova's offices in the Strip District on Friday, December 4, 2012. MObi is a robot that self-balances and is designed for studying human-machine interaction. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Investors bet big on a Pittsburgh-based maker of retail robots.

Bossa Nova , a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company, announced Tuesday it raised $17.5 million in a recent round of funding.

The company will use the influx of cash to grow its engineering and commercial teams and scale its business.

"We are ready to scale and are thrilled to have the support of investors who can bolster our financial growth and bring a wealth of expertise in all the areas critical to our success," Bruce McWilliams, president and CEO at Bossa Nova, said in a statement.

Bossa Nova robots scan store selves to collect inventory data. Retailers can use that data to make sure products are in stock and on the shelves. Bossa Nova announced at the beginning of the month that it was testing its robots in 50 Walmart stores.

Bossa Nova's Series B round of funding was led by Silicon Valley-based Paxion Capital Partners. Bossa Nova also has an office in San Francisco.

"Bossa Nova is solving a hard inventory problem that costs retailers billions of dollars every year," Michael Marks, general partner at Paxion and the former CEO of Flextronics, said in the statement. "The company has developed a unique set of algorithms and proprietary technologies that give them a strong lead in autonomous robotics and retail data analytics."

Marks has joined the Bossa Nova board of directors.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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