Mr. Roboto

Grishin Robotics Bets on Bolt, a Boston-Based Hardware Accelerator


New York’s resident robot-loving VC firm has made its third investment–though this one is a bit of a different bet than the last two, RobotAppStore (the name is pretty self-explanatory) and Double Robotics (which allows you to put your iPad on wheels, for the truly dedicated FaceTimer). Grishin Robotics has plowed an undisclosed amount of money into Bolt, a Boston-based hardware accelerator. Read More

Mr. Roboto

An App Store for Your Roomba? Look Up in The Cloud, It’s the Future of Personal Robotics

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 8.23.17 AM

When Betabeat first met Russian tycoon Dmitry Grishin in June, the CEO of was arguing that personal robotics companies needed to put the same emphasis on customers and user experience as their consumer Internet counterparts.

Today, Grishin Robotics, his New York City-based venture capital firm, has made an investment that could mean a step in that direction: $250,000 in funding for RobotAppStore, which bills itself as the first-ever marketplace for apps that “extend the functionality of any types of robot–from Roomba vacuum cleaners and NAO humanoids to the AR.Drone quadcopter and Sphero (the robotic ball).” Read More


Meet Betabeat’s 2012 Tech Insurgents

(Illustration: Robert Grossman)

Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Twitter and Square, recently tried to disabuse the tech industry of its infatuation with the word ‘disruption.’ “We don’t want ‘disruption,’ where we just move things around. We want a direction. We want a purpose,” he said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, humbly suggesting the biannual conference change its name. But it’s more than just semantics. The tech sector’s claim to produce world-changing products and services often gets drowned out in a chorus of me-too companies solving problems no one ever complained about. The umpteenth nightlife-recommendations tool or empty real-time dating app can obscure the whirr of a nascent robotics sector in Manhattan or a futuristic, even revolutionary, experiment in manufacturing in Queens. Read More


Tech Insurgents 2012: Valery Komissarova

Ms. Komissarova.

Rallying the Robots

When longtime Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson left his post earlier this month, it wasn’t for another Condé title or a sabbatical to write his fourth book. He decamped for a robotics startup. It’s just the latest sign, along with drones appearing on the cover of every magazine from The New Yorker to The Economist, that robotics is no longer relegated to science fiction.

New York has never been known as a robotics capital, unlike Boston, with its MIT hackers, or Pittsburgh, with its Carnegie Mellon engineers. But one Russian oligarch wants to change that. Read More

NYC’s Only Robotics VC Firm Makes Its First Investment In a Fresh Y Combinator Grad


Grishin Robotics, the New York City based robot investment firm started by the “Russian Mark Zuckerberg,” Dmitry Grishin, announced its very first portfolio company today via a $250,000 investment in Double Robotics.

Double Robotics is a recent Y Combinator graduate based in California. They have already sold 600 units of their first product, Double, a bot that puts your iPad on wheels and turns it into a mobile telecommunications device. It’s perfect for bosses in remote locations who want to supervise more than just the conference room from afar. Read More

Mr. Roboto

Russian Web Tycoon Launches $25 M. NYC Investment Fund for Personal Robots

Mr. Grishin, holding court at Dean & Deluca

Last week, Betabeat met 33-year-old Dmitry Grishin, the so-called “Russian Mark Zuckerberg,” to talk about robots. Or more specifically, to talk about the $25 million investment Mr. Grishin just made to launch Grishin Robotics, a global investment firm–based in New York City!–with the goal of bringing personal robots into every household in the world.

Mr. Grishin is the CEO of, one of the largest Internet companies in Russia, offering services like email, instant messaging, and social networking. After going public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, currently has a market cap of $7 billion. also happens to have sold a hefty chunk of its Facebook stock in the company’s recent IPO, which might explain why Mr. Grishin decided the time was right to pursue his dream. “I have personal passion for robotics,” Mr. Grishin, a graduate of Moscow State Technical University’s Robotics and Complex Automation program. “I really believe this is a cool, cool area.”

As it happens, talking to Mr. Grishin was not our first conversation about the impending robot revolution in recent weeks. Read More