Kitchener Clearpath Robotics’s OTTO Motors makes self driving vehicles for warehouses, raises $55M Canadian to date

OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics, provides self-driving vehicles designed exclusively for indoor material transport. The vehicles operate with infrastructure-free navigation, offering intelligent, safe, efficient, and reliable transportation within industrial centers. Proprietary hardware, software, and services are delivered to provide customer excellence.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Clearpath Robotics was founded in 2009 by Ryan Gariepy (CTO), Bryan Webb (COO) and Matt Rendall (CEO). In April 2016, the company launched its industrial division, OTTO Motors, to provide self-driving vehicles for material transport to manufacturing and warehouse operators.

How are you being financed?

Our parent company, Clearpath Robotics, raised its first round of VC funding in March 2015 and its Series B funding in October 2016.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

Scaling a high-growth company is our biggest challenges. It's something we've had a lot of practice with over the course of our business, but there are always growing pains associated when it comes to scaling up. From improving team communications to efficiently planning inventory stock, there's a full range of factors that can be impacted when growing a company's team, product line, and customer base.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We're fortunate to receive over 9,000 applicants each year for the positions we post on Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors. We open our application process to prospective team members globally, engage in recruitment activities with local universities, and engage in the online community through social media discussions and recruitment advertising.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

We were profitable within 18 months of inception and now we're a multi-million dollar organization. Addressing the market needs to ensure a product-market fit is our number focus, and we do this by listening to our customers and iterating on products and solutions quickly to ensure we provide the highest value possible. Expanding with our industrial division was an important strategic move for us since OTTO Motors serves a very separate market (ie: manufacturers in industry) than the Clearpath Robotics business (i.e: researchers in academia).

What is the big lesson you've learned (success or failure) with this project.

The biggest lesson we've learned is how to manage growth, yet with more growth, comes more growing pains. So although we've learned a lot, there is always more to gain!