By Nuno G. Pedro

 

We welcome Kai Huang, known to us as “Mr. Guitar Hero”, as a Senior Advisor, helping us track new gaming and hardware trends, and identifying promising investment opportunities.

 

Kai was co-founder and CEO of Blue Goji, an interactive fitness company that brings motivation and fun to health and fitness. Prior to Blue Goji, he co-founded video

game publisher RedOctane, and was President and CEO from 1999 to 2009. RedOctane was the publisher of Guitar Hero, which went on to become a multi-billion dollar global video game franchise and was acquired by Activision in 2006. Prior to RedOctane, he was co-founder and CEO of Adux Software, which was sold in 1999. He started his career as a consultant with Accenture in the San Francisco office.

 

Kai holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, of which he is now a member of the Board of Trustees.

 

The Senior Advisor program brings on visionary founders and thought leaders into the Grishin Robotics family. We are excited to add Kai to the team to help steer our future investment strategy in the Gaming and Hardware space.

By Nuno G. Pedro

 

We welcome Zouhair Belkoura, co-founder and CEO of Keepsafe Software, the leading software provider of tools that enable consumers to take more control of their privacy. Zouhair is joining the team as Senior Advisor, helping us track new consumer and digital trends, and identifying promising investment opportunities.

Zouhair founded Keepsafe in San Francisco in 2012 and has since then, with a small team, grown it into a truly significant consumer company with over 80 million users worldwide. Keepsafe was one of the pioneers in mobile privacy, as well as in the consumer subscription space.

 

Prior to Keepsafe, he was a Product Manager at Kii Corp and a co-founder of Enamora, a leading e-commerce business in his native Germany.

 

Zouhair holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from TU Berlin and an MEng from Imperial College, London. He is an avid surfer who builds his own watercraft.

 

The Senior Advisor program brings on visionary founders and thought leaders into the Grishin Robotics family. We are excited to add Zouhair to the team to help steer our future investment strategy in the Consumer space.

By Frederick Dopfel

 

When most people think of robots, they are drawn to think of mechanical humanoids like C3-PO or Rosie the Robot. Others think of industrial robotic arms, or Boston Dynamic's Big Dog and Spot quadrupeds. But few people think of the robots that they interact with on a regular basis: automated checkout, dishwashers, and laundry machines. Imagine if you told someone 100 years ago that there was a machine that would work at your bank and give you access to your account, like a teller, or a machine that would guide you as you drive to wherever you want to go. Our hypothetical friend would certainly call these machines robots, but we call them ATMs and GPS navigation systems.

 

The most broadly agreed upon definition of a robot is: "a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer." A quick glance around the room will likely turn up many devices that already fit this definition. We are already living in an age of robotics, and those robots are only going to become more prevalent. At Grishin Robotics, we believe that robots are only called "robots" until they become everyday devices.

 

We believe that the greatest value to be generated in robotics comes not from devices that are overtly "robots" but from devices that seamlessly integrate into the lives of hundreds of millions of everyday people. When we see a Roomba, we think "vacuum cleaner". When we see a Ring, we think "doorbell". When we see a Peloton, we think "exercise bike". All these companies put emphasis not only on hardware, but also on the software to give them a pleasant user experience that customers will use day after day. This tight integration between the physical and digital sides of their product is crucial not only to building a good product, but also to making a defensible business that protects against competitors undercutting hardware costs. These are robotic products, but we don't call them “robots” because they have become completely ordinary in our lives through the integration of good hardware and smart software.

 

We are excited to work with founders who share our vision, and want to build a world where robots are a little less sci-fi, and a lot more ordinary.