Overview & Background
Since 2006 ALDEBARAN Robotics (AR) has developed a unique know-how in designing inexpensive, fully-programmable, humanoid robots. Its first product, NAO, was introduced in 2008 and has sold more than 3,000 units worldwide.
In Fall 2011 AR was approached by an Asian Fortune 100 company, which had identified robotics as a new investment area and set its sight on AR as a choice partner due to its unique positioning on affordable humanoid robotics.
The approach was based on AR’s ability to rapidly develop a custom version of NAO for use within the partner’s group and an accelerated development strategic roadmap, rather than financial reasons. As a result, the corporate partner was keen to buy-out existing financial investors as well as investing in AR through an equity investment, resulting in a change of majority control.
The challenge was to agree a price commensurate with the risks taken by early-backers and avoid the buyer having to pay a premium, while creating the value justifying the premium in the first place.
Given Go4Venture Advisers’ long relationship with AR and its shareholders, from advisory work since 2007, Go4Venture Advisers was able to step in and come up with a suggested structure respecting the interests of all parties.
Transaction was agreed within 2 months and closed in the following 2 months.
AR has a new reference shareholder, a major equity injection and a multi-year production contract which will drive the commercial use of its robots.