This post originally appeared on the City of Auburn newsroom.
Innovative tech company Tennibot, which originated out of Auburn University, continues to make great strides in the City of Auburn’s incubator system at Auburn Center for Developing Industries (ACDI). Tennibot recently completed a successful funding round, exceeding goals and expectations.
Tennibot is an autonomous tennis assistant that integrates computer vision and AI to save players and coaches 25% of their time on court. Tennibot clears the court of tennis balls so that the players can focus on hitting balls instead of picking them up. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign and participation in Techstars Sports Accelerator in 2020, Tennibot has disrupted the tennis industry as the only autonomous tennis assistant in the market.
“We are proud of Tennibot’s success here in Auburn. Not only do they represent the great innovation out of Auburn University, but they demonstrate the effectiveness of having local incubators in an entire ecosystem to cultivate and nurture startups,” said Mayor Ron Anders.
Tennibot currently leases office and manufacturing space at one of the City’s incubator locations. With their impending production and staffing increases, Tennibot is outgrowing the facility just in time for it to move into the City’s newest incubator, currently under construction in Auburn Industrial Park.
“Being at ACDI has been pivotal for our business. It has allowed our startup the opportunity to grow. Plus, as an incubator, it is fun to be around the energy of the other startups and entrepreneurs,” said Haitham Eletrabi, PhD, founder and CEO of Tennibot.
The company has received the benefits of incubation since its inception. “In their earliest stages, while in our incubator, we worked with Tennibot on business plan development, customer discovery, and pitch coaching. It is rewarding to see how far they have come beyond our Tiger Cage competition,” said Lou Bifano, director of entrepreneurship strategy at Auburn University Harbert College of Business in the New Venture Accelerator.
This over-subscribed funding round was raised by existing and new investors alongside Benson Capital Partners, Techstars Ventures, Untapped Capital, Underdog Labs, Timberline Holdings, Founders First, Scott Dorsey, Oregon Sports Angels and other angels. This capital will allow Tennibot to accelerate production and scale its supply chain to meet the unprecedented demand in addition to rolling out new features and capabilities.
“We’re excited for this partnership as the tennis market continues to grow and attract new players to this great sport,” said Eletrabi. “We started Tennibot with the goal of improving players’ experience on the court and making tennis more enjoyable by eliminating the least favorite part of the sport. We are looking forward to reaching more tennis players and courts worldwide with this investment.”
Founded in 2016, Tennibot is a venture-backed robotics startup that builds autonomous robots for sports. Tennibot has won several awards and been named in many prestigious publications, including Time Magazine, Forbes, BBC, Yahoo, Huffington Post and LA Times. Visit tennibot.com to learn more about Tennibot and purchasing information. To learn more about the many resources available in Auburn for local startups, visit StartinAuburn.com or contact Caitlin Myers, manager of the Entrepreneurial & Technology Programs initiative out of the City of Auburn’s Department of Economic Development, at [email protected]a.org or 334-501-7377.