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Two Chinese VC Firms Invest in U.K.-Based Robot Developer Emotech

U.K.-based startup Emotech, developer of AI robot with emotion, has raised more than $10 million in Series A funding,
Olly Robot | Credit: heyolly.com

U.K.-based startup Emotech has raised more than $10 million in Series A funding, according to TechCrunch. The round was led by Shanghai-based Lightning Capital, a VC firm focused on artificial intelligence technology and health tech. Another Chinese VC firm, Alliance Capital, also participated in the round.

VC firms seem to be betting on Emotech’s flagship product, which is an AI-enabled robot named Olly — according to the startup, the first bot with actual personality. Olly is a virtual assistant that, unlike the majority of AI helpers currently available, is capable of showing emotion and can develop personality by mimicking that of its owner through adaptive learning.

Emotech’s founder, Chelsea Chen, told TechCrunch that the new funding will be used to expand the team’s AI technology expertise. The company says it also plans to work on collaborations with university labs, including those at Imperial College, Edinburgh University, University College, London, and UC Berkeley.