Viam Expands Beyond Robotics: Introducing Their Revolutionary No-Code Automation Platform

The no-code development platform previously focused its outreach on robotics firms. They were like, ‘we’re not a robotics company — we do food processing, we do PLC automation, we do boats, we’re not robots.’”Further complicating messaging was the fact that — while the company is simply named “Viam” — its various social media platforms are “Viam Robotics,” owing to the fact that it was unable to secure the four-letter word. Viam’s large office overlooking New York City’s Lincoln Center has a lab space, where members of the local robotics community are invited in to use its platform to develop automation applications. “When people ask me what I do and what [Viam’s software] does, I usually use an example from their life. We are a platform that lives at the intersection of real-world hardware and real-world software and the cloud and machine learning.

According to founder and CEO Eliot Horowitz, Viam didn’t exactly pivot since the last time they spoke, but it’s more of a “rebrand.” Roughly six months ago, the Manhattan-based startup made a conscious effort to broaden its focus and move away from only targeting robotics firms. While robotics is a large and continuously growing category, Horowitz explains that their company’s vision goes beyond just that.

Horowitz tells TechCrunch, “The platform has always had a wide range of use cases, from robotics to IoT, smart homes, and industrial automation – basically anything that involves sensors, actuators, and compute.” However, over the summer, they noticed that their messaging was causing confusion among potential clients. When they saw “robotics” on Viam’s homepage, it would often deter them from considering the platform. Horowitz says, “They would say, ‘We’re not a robotics company. We specialize in food processing, PLC automation, boats – not robots.'”

Further complicating things was the fact that even though the company’s name is simply “Viam,” their social media handles were all “Viam Robotics” because they were unable to secure the four-letter word. Initially, Viam spent a lot of time and effort targeting the robotics community, but now with their rebranding, they are focused on new applications beyond just robotics.

The diverse list includes industries like insurance and marine – the latter resonates with Horowitz as he speaks to me from the bridge of his boat via Zoom.

The rebranding also involved shifting their demos and showcasing their capabilities in non-robotics areas. While they cannot disclose specific names yet, Viam has onboarded several large enterprise organizations. The company recently announced a $45 million Series B funding round, with Union Square Ventures and Battery Ventures as lead investors. This brings Viam’s total funding to $87 million, which will be used for R&D and increasing their commercial enterprise deployment. Horowitz also shares that the team is expanding, with a current headcount of 100 employees.

Despite continued interest from investors, Horowitz acknowledges that they may still have a messaging challenge when it comes to explaining what Viam’s software does in a concise manner – almost a year after its commercial launch. He says,

“I wouldn’t say we have the perfect answer for that yet. When people ask me what we do, I usually give an example from their own life. For example, has your HVAC ever stopped working? Or have you ever struggled to find your coffeemaker? If you’ve known someone for just a minute, you can likely think of a real-life scenario where the interface between hardware and software was just not user-friendly. That’s where we come in. We are a platform that operates at the intersection of physical hardware, software, the cloud, and machine learning. There is no other company quite like us.”

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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