Foxglove, which builds infrastructure stacks for robotics, today announced Series A funding led by Eclipse with participation from Amplify Partners and Angel Investors Cruz, including CEO Kyle Vogt. The proceeds bring Foxglove’s total to $18.7 million, which CEO Adrian McKail said will be used primarily for product development and expanding the company’s product engineering and sales teams.
McNeil previously led at Cruz Infrastructure, a self-driving car company backed by GM (hence Vogt’s involvement) and was the first director of engineering at Coinbase. While on the cruise, McNeil said he saw firsthand the lack of off-the-shelf tools for robotics and autonomous vehicle development. Cruz had to hire entire teams to build tools in-house, including for visualization, data management, AI and machine learning, simulation, and more.
That inspired Foxglove, which began as a fork of Webviz and was released by Cruise in early 2021. After rewriting much of the code, adding support for various robotics frameworks, and creating companion tools for data logging and management, McNeill and Foxglove co-founder Roman Shtilman (also a Cruz and Coinbase veteran) officially launched the company and its platform.
“It’s incredibly inefficient and time-consuming for all robotics companies to build the same internal tools,” McNeil told TechCrunch in an email. We must.”
Foxglove creates cloud-based tools and libraries, such as the open-source MCAP, which provides a standardized interface for companies to share data. As McNeil explains, robotics data is unique; Most file formats are not suitable for storing data such as point clouds, camera images, machine learning estimates, and control outputs.
“Prior to MCAP, many of our customers were actually inventing their own file formats for recording data, which had predictable results when trying to get data into standard devices,” McNeil said. “Since then, big names in the industry, such as Andreal, have accepted and contributed to this open source project.”
Foxglove recently released a rewritten 3D visualizer that adds features such as a viewer that allows users to combine camera images and 3D models in the same scene. Looking ahead, McNeil said he aims to streamline customer uploads from field or remote facilities and improve Foxglove’s support for simulated data.
“The robotics industry is still in its infancy and hasn’t gotten as much attention as the broader AI industry — but there are amazing companies being built and huge opportunities. The biggest challenge of the robotics industry is lack of awareness,” McNeil said. “Funnily, it reminds me of when I first started working in crypto. Hiring technical people has been a challenge because it’s such a niche industry.Thankfully, we’re seeing awareness accelerate as people realize the importance of the issues.
Foxglove says it’s “in a good position financially” with 8x active users over the past year and is growing fast. Fully remote with 19 employees in four countries, the company serves more than 3,000 users with cloud-based devices and its enterprise customers, including Nvidia and 6 River Systems.