Robotics is a goldmine and investors are getting the message – this is the learning of Day 1 at the Baltic M&A and Private Equity Forum 2016 in Riga.
By 2025, the robotics and automation market may be worth over USD 10 trillion, according to McKinsey Global Institute.
Robotics means nothing short of a new industrial revolution according to Jonathan C. Cohen, Managing Partner of UK’s Robocap Fund, which is one of the first actively managed investment funds aimed exclusively at 'pure-play' robotics and automation stocks in the world.
Cohen added that this revolution will have significant consequences: cheap foreign labor will be replaced by more efficient domestic machines. Creativity, productivity and time gains will see significant increases.
The Baltic panellists agreed that robotics was a train to jump on. “Using robotics will mean that people can do things that have more value to society and economy,” noted Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Estonian defence equipment producer Milrem.
Väärsi said that the Baltic countries are in a good position to be a frontrunner in the area owing to their strong IT sector and education, but if the Baltic nations fail to pay attention to robotics in the Baltics right now, we will lose this position.
“The courageous rule the world, you have to be there early on,” Jānis Skutelis, Chairman of the board at FlyCap venture capital fund of Latvia, confirmed the need to invest in robotics. Skutelis has invested in AirDog, a Latvian startup that makes drones for sport fans who want to film their escapades.
AirDog’s co-founder Agris Kipurs also spoke at the Forum, joining via videoconference from Taiwan where he was meeting with a strategic investor. “It’s all about the differentiation,” Kipurs said of his product which he deems far more developed than those of any global competitors.