Relay Robotics secures $10M financing, names CEO

Relay Robotics Inc.—a new corporation formed by the acquisition of robotics developer Savioke—has completed a $10,000,000 Series A financing. The company has also appointed veteran technology executive Michael O’Donnell as chairman/CEO. Savioke Cofounder Steve Cousins will become chief technology officer of Relay Robotics and lead the company’s product strategy and innovation efforts.

Relay delivery robots are currently deployed at major hotels in the U.S. such as Marriott, Hilton, Westin, Mandarin Oriental, Holiday Inn and Radisson, as well as hospitals and commercial real estate properties. Relay’s Rapid-Install trains and activates a robot within hours of arrival at a location. Customers can name their robot and create a customized “wrap” to give it a unique character and harmonize it with their brand, according to the company.

“Our ownership’s crystal ball saw, before most hotel operators, what service robot technology could add from a marketing and operations perspective,” said Bob Combie, SVP, technology, Seaview Investors, a hotel operator. “The Relay robots are integrated into our daily guest experience, and we use them at all eight of our hotels.”

The Relay product line consists of:

  • Relay: The original service robot, globally installed in hotels, hospitals and commercial real estate.
  • Relay+: The newest autonomous robot with flexible configurations including a larger capacity top bin, a four-drawer model and independent elevator operations.

“I’m excited to join Steve and the incredibly talented team at Relay Robotics to address this huge market opportunity for autonomous robots that help businesses serve their customers, patients and employees,” said O’Donnell. “The market is quickly embracing these AI & autonomous technologies to address the worldwide labor shortage and meet their clients’ needs. Relay Robotics has the intellectual property, a product line of working robots making deliveries across hospitality, healthcare and offices, and a pipeline of marquee customers.”

Mark Koulogeorge, managing partner, MK Capital, which led the Series A financing, said, “There is a multibillion-dollar market for service robots and Relay Robotics has the team, technology and real-world experience in applying service robots to solve business problems. Michael will lead Relay on an aggressive growth path as we partner with customers to develop more innovative uses of service robots to enhance the customer experience and improve operating efficiency.”

“Our collective experience and expertise in AI, autonomous vehicles and building the Relay software technology platform is paying huge dividends in driving use cases and the reliability of our robots,” said Cousins. “We continue to expand the capabilities of Relay robots, enabling them to be quickly deployed to help people in service industries.”

Prior to Relay Robotics, O’Donnell, a 25-year veteran of the consumer technology industry, served as CEO of HealthiNation, a digital healthcare media company that was acquired by GoodRx in April 2021. Before HealthiNation, O’Donnell was CEO of four VC-backed technology companies, including Playcast, an Israel-based videogame streaming company acquired by GameFly Inc. in 2015; Skytide, a video analytics company acquired by Citrix Systems Inc. in 2013; Five Across, a social media platform company acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. in 2007; and Salon Media Group.