- Robotic interior products Ori announced it raised $20 million in Series B funding from Sidewalk Labs, Ingka Group, Geolo Capital, and Khosla Ventures
Ori — a designer of robotic interior products and systems — announced it has raised $20 million in a Series B round of financing. This round of funding — which was provided by Sidewalk Labs, Ingka Group, Geolo Capital, and Khosla Ventures — will enable Ori to broaden its focus beyond creating products and systems to partnering with architects and builders on designing urban housing and spaces that are flexible, intelligent, sustainable, and affordable.
“At Ori we see interior space differently; we’re challenging the centuries-old view that the functionality is linearly related to the amount of available physical space,” said Ori founder and CEO Hasier Larrea,. “It is so energizing for us to have the opportunity to partner and collaborate with investors who similarly are rethinking how urban centers should be built and who are working at the building, neighborhood and city scale. From our perspective, Sidewalk Labs, Ingka Group, Geolo Capital and Khosla Ventures is the perfect team to supercharge our execution toward this vision.”
As an average of three million people move to cities every week and more than two-thirds of the global population are projected to live in cities within a generation, building livable, affordable, and sustainable urban housing has become an urgent challenge. And Ori’s focus on enabling residents to use only the space they need — when they need it — will ensure better utilization of scarce land and resources along with a dramatically improved and responsive living experience.
Edwin Hendriksen recently joined Ori to help lead this expanded strategy. Hendriksen was most recently The SVP Global Head of WeLive and Mixed-use Real Estate at The We Company. And previously Hendriksen was SVP of Investment and Development at citizenM — which is a pioneer of the micro hotel concept designed for modern travelers who value a luxury hotel experience in central city locations at an affordable price. Hendriksen is going to be joining Ori as its president and also will join its board of directors.
“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about joining Ori, and convinced that the concept of dynamic, responsive space is an absolute game-changer,” added Hendriksen. “For developers and real estate owners, Ori’s technology and solutions create a real competitive advantage. But more importantly, being able to transform and configure your space in a frictionless and elegant way not only means an enhanced experience for residents living in compact urban housing, but it also opens a new pathway to affordability and access to urban communities.”
Last year, with the release of Ori’s first production units, people across the country started living with robotic interiors designed by Ori.
“Flexibility and efficiency make dense urban living not only more enjoyable, but also more affordable. Ori’s technology and new way of conceiving flexible and responsive interior spaces unlocks the potential to provide city residents with access to a premier urban living experience at a reasonable price,” explained Sidewalk Labs chairman and CEO Dan Doctoroff.
Sidewalk Labs — an Alphabet company — is known for reimagining cities to improve quality of life. This is done by combining people-centered urban design with cutting-edge technology. Sidewalk Labs is currently designing a district in Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront to tackle the challenges of urban growth.
Ori’s collection of robotic interiors includes the Studio Suite, the Pocket Closet, and the Cloud Bed — which will be commercially available in 2020.
“This investment aligns closely with the direction of Ingka Group, where we want to be a partner in life at home for our customers by offering affordable, convenient and more sustainable small-space solutions – especially as more and more people move toward big cities. In addition, we see potential opportunities to explore, together with Ori, new ways of building more flexible and responsive spaces that may allow us to create innovative meeting places and inspirational retail experiences for our customers in the future,” commented Ingka Investments Managing Director Krister Mattsson.
Ingka Group is 1 of 11 different groups of companies that own and operate IKEA retail under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. And Ingka Group is a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system by operating 367 IKEA stores in 30 countries.
Ori’s products — all of which enable the transformation of space with the touch of a button or voice command — can be found in more than 30 projects located in major cities across the United States.
“As investors, developers and operators of branded real estate concepts, we’re fascinated by the growing convergence of the hospitality and residential sectors. Ori uniquely optimizes smart and efficient design, which fundamentally changes the way we look at multifamily and hotel development projects. As a result, Ori enhances resident and guest experiences, while maximizing the returns for developers. This is something we’re truly excited to explore together,” pointed out Geolo Capital founding partner and director John Pritzker.
Ori’s name is derived from “origami,” these Japanese art of folding paper for creating beautiful objects that take many kinds of elegant forms.
“In addressing the global housing crisis, Ori is taking on a challenge so large that breakthrough technology, and a genuinely different perspective, needs to be an integral part of the solution. But it is a problem that also needs a very human solution. So we are excited that Ori has assembled an investor group that represents some of the best thinking on all aspects of the future of urban living,” noted Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla.