Boston Dynamics Is a Pioneer in Robotics, Doesn't Have IPO Plans

Boston Dynamics, a mobile robotics firm, isn't a publicly traded company. Boston Dynamics is still privately owned by Hyundai and Softbank. Will the company go public?

Kathryn Underwood - Author

Jan. 4 2021, Published 10:52 a.m. ET

Source: Getty

The SpotMini robot from Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics, a robotics company based in Waltham, Mass., is a privately-owned company. SoftBank Group is the sole owner of the company. In December 2020, Hyundai Motor Group announced a deal to acquire a controlling share in the company.  

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Boston Dynamics hasn't announced any plans for an IPO soon. The new deal with Hyundai gives the company a valuation of $1.1 billion.  

boston dynamics robots
Source: Boston Dynamics Facebook
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Platforms like SharesPost and EquityZen enable some individual investors to purchase pre-IPO stock shares in privately-held companies. Right now, one of these platforms is the only route for anyone interested in buying Boston Dynamics stock.  

Boston Dynamics is a legit company

Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics develops mobile robots for a variety of applications. The company's primary focus is legged robots for greater utility in both the natural and the manufactured world, which are meant to have “advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence.” 

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According to EquityZen, Boston Dynamics started as a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Co-founder Marc Raibert and his colleagues designed the first robots with animal-like maneuverability. Raibert is still the president of the company, while Mark McElwee is the senior robotics engineer.  

Boston Dynamics' robots offer balance and stability

Boston Dynamics' robots are known for extraordinary balance and stability. “These unique designs enable our robots to conquer terrains inaccessible to others, and perform automated tasks in unstructured environments.”  

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Boston Dynamics' main product is its industrial robot “Spot.” Spot weighs 65 pounds and is intended only for industrial and commercial use. The company says that it's exploring the possibility of a consumer-facing version of Spot by around 2022.  

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Spot is designed with what the company calls “athletic intelligence,” which means that it can climb stairs, walk, detour around obstacles in its way, and follow prescribed routes automatically and autonomously.  

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“Pick” is Boston Dynamics’ other robotic product, which is designed for warehouse box detection. Another warehouse robot, “Handle,” is in development. The robot will be used for moving boxes within a warehouse setting and is slated for commercial purchase availability in 2022, according to the company's website.  

Boston Dynamics' valuation

The acquisition deal with Hyundai in December 2020 placed a value of $1.1 billion on Boston Dynamics. In the near term, Hyundai intends to continue to focus on Spot, Handle, and Atlas.  

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Boston Dynamics’ vice president of business development, Michael Patrick Perry, said that Hyundai’s vision for autonomous driving and unmanned aerial systems is exciting, which “fits very neatly into the connected vision of robotics,” according to IEEE Spectrum

boston dynamics private robot company
Source: Boston Dynamics Facebook
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How to buy Boston Dynamics stock

To buy Boston Dynamics stock, you need access to a platform like EquityZen or SharesPost since the company isn't publicly traded. Investing in Boston Dynamics isn't as simple as buying shares through the NYSE or Nasdaq Exchange.

Boston Dynamics' IPO plans

Currently, Boston Dynamics hasn't announced plans for an IPO of common stock. The company remains privately owned. In December, Hyundai Motor Group announced its agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the company from SoftBank. 


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