Figure, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup focused on building humanoid robotics to ease a labor shortage in heavy and manual labor-focused industries such as warehouse and retail work, has just received enormous backing and valuation.

The company today announced it has received a staggering $675 million investment round from such technology industry heavyweights as Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, NVIDIA, Jeff Bezos (through Bezos Expeditions), Parkway Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Align Ventures, and ARK Invest. Following this, Figure says it is now valued at $2.6 billion — a unicorn more than 2.5x over.

CEO and founder Brett Adcock, formerly in charge of aerospace startup Archer Aviation, posted on X a thread stating that the money would help Figure by “ramping up” its “timeline for humanoid commercial deployment,” including “deploying more robots.”

A new collab emerges

In addition, Figure said it has “entered into a collaboration agreement” with OpenAI to use the latter’s AI prowess to develop new models to power the brains of Figure’s robots.

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Last month, Figure showed off its Figure 01 prototype robot making coffee using only neural networks trained on imagery. Now, Adock says OpenAI’s models will further assist the robot operating system’s machine learning capabilities.

“We’ve always planned to come back to robotics and we see a path with Figure to explore what humanoid robots can achieve when powered by highly capable multimodal models,” said Peter Welinder, VP of Product and Partnerships at OpenAI, in a statement provided in a Figure news release. “We’re blown away by Figure’s progress to date and we look forward to working together to open up new possibilities for how robots can help in everyday life.”

Partnering with adjacent industries

Also last month, Figure announced it had inked an agreement with automaker BMW Manufacturing to develop and put the former’s robots in the latter’s auto manufacturing plants and facilities.

The backing of such established and high-flying tech and auto names shows how Figure, founded just 21 months ago by former workers at Boston Dynamics, Tesla, Google DeepMind, and Archer Aviation, is impressing those in adjacent industries with its technology and roadmap.

Figure also seems to be on a direct course to compete with Tesla and its Optimus humanoid robotic project, as well as lesser known yet still well-positioned startups such as Oregon’s Agility Robotics, which has partnered with Amazon to test its humanoid robot, “Digit,” for use moving and preparing packages in fulfillment warehouses.

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