Jibo, a Boston startup developing small robots for home entertainment, continues piling up cash as it pushes to ship its first products later this year.
The latest investment, totaling $11 million, comes from a collection of technology and investment companies based in Asia, including Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer Inc.
The new cash follows a $25 million Series A financing that Jibo announced in January, when it also hired ex-Nuance executive Steve Chambers as chief executive. Jibo also has raised about $4 million in crowdfunding campaigns, which brought the company more than 6,500 pre-orders.
Jibo was founded by Cynthia Breazeal, who took a leave from the Personal Robots Group at MIT’s Media Lab to work on Jibo. Breazeal serves as the company’s chief scientist.
The tabletop robot, less than a foot tall, is loaded with touch sensors, cameras, speakers, and WiFi connectivity. It’s meant to be an in-home assistant that can respond to voice commands, record videos, play music, update its owners on their calendar for the day, and more.
Other companies are trying to get Internet-connected “virtual assistant” devices into the living room, including Amazon, which recently introduced its Echo device.
Jibo is supposed to be more capable — and definitely more charming — than Amazon’s standstill speaker, but we’ll have to wait for a few months to see just how good it turns out. The first units are not expected to be shipped to early buyers until at least this fall.