Orbotix CEO: $4M Round to Fund Sphero’s Holiday Shopping Season Push

Orbotix got a little boost last week in its quest to make the Sphero robotic ball one of the must-have gadgets of 2013.

CEO Paul Berberian said the $4 million equity financing Orbotix raised last week will be used to ramp up production for the holiday season. After all, there are only 224 shopping days ’til Christmas, and smartphone-controlled self-propelled robotic balls don’t just roll themselves under all those trees.

In all seriousness, the 2013 holiday season looms large in Sphero’s plans. Last fall, Target became a retail carrier, and Orbotix ramped up media outreach efforts. Sphero has garnered a lot of love from gadget-crazed technophiles—and President Barack Obama, whose impromptu test drive while at a campaign stop in Boulder was a guerrilla marketing coup for the company.

But Berberian said last fall the company’s eyes were on breaking through into the mainstream in 2013. That’s what it hopes to achieve with this latest shot of investment cash.

“We’re growing rapidly and are excited about the future and building awesome products that consumers love,” Berberian said in an e-mail.

Orbotix is based in Boulder and is a TechStars Boulder Class of 2010 graduate. The company now has raised about $15 million in total.

According to documents filed with the SEC, Sphero intended to raise $10 million in this round. It closed the round early so it could put the investment dollars to use on production to get ready for the upcoming holiday season, Berberian said.

The Foundry Group led the round. The Boulder venture capital firm is a major investor in Orbotix, and Brad Feld is a director. Orbotix did not disclose other investors in the round, but a total of three investors joined the financing, according to the regulatory filing.

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