Robocap in the Press

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FT Future of the Car Summit 2019
https://live.ft.com/Events/2019/FT-Future-of-the-Car-Summit-2019
14/05/2019
English
Five alternatives to the Pictet-Robotics fund
http://citywireselector.com/news/five-alternatives-to-the-pictet-robotics-fund/a1070669#i=6
23/01/2017
Terri-Ann Williams
English

5. RoboCap Ucits fund

Sitting at the top of the global themes sector is Jonathan Cohen with the RoboCap Ucits fund. The little-known gem has returned 52.7% over the year to the end of October 2017, while its most talked about counterpart, the Pictet Robotics fund, returned 40.1%.

The fund sits on Montlake’s Ucits platform and invests in ‘pure-play’ stocks, such as those which have at least 40% of sales generated from robotics and automation related end markets.

It invests in around 20-30 stocks at any one time and at present, the fund has around 51% of assets in large-cap companies, 46.5% in mid-cap and 2.5% in small-cap.

The top five holdings of the fund are companies such as Daifuku, Fanuc, Intuitive Surgical, Keyence and Yaskawa Electric.

Last month, the team said October 2017 had been the best monthly performance the fund had generated since inception, as Japanese names maintained their positive momentum in the Chinese market, as well as seeing sales jump both domestically and in the US.

Connected devices bring sweeping changes to the factory floor
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/01/robots-in-factories-how-they-help-human-workers.html
01/11/2017
Michael Pooler
English
  • Collaborative robots — or cobots — work alongside humans and have been spreading across production lines.They are typically smaller, flexible and mobile, as well as being cheaper than their heavy-duty cousins.

  • While many fear that robots will steal people's jobs, proponents say cobots can improve health and safety conditions for humans by performing repetitive tasks that require uncomfortable movements such as twisting or lifting heavy objects.

Michael Pooler

Published 11:23 AM ET Wed, 1 Nov 2017 Financial Times

 

Jeff Kowalsky | Bloomberg | Getty Images

An auto worker assembles parts that will be welded by a robot for the Dodge Dart rear wheel house at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's Warren Stamping Plant in Warren, Michigan.

The increasing interconnection of devices and vast flows of data between machines are transforming factory floors around the world.

From robots that work alongside humans to tracking components throughout the logistics system, the internet of things (IoT) is reshaping the way products are designed and made — and changing the role of humans in manufacturing.

Cobots

Unlike traditional industrial robots hidden behind cages, like those that weld car bodies, collaborative robots — or cobots — work alongside humans and have been spreading across production lines.They are typically smaller, flexible and mobile, as well as being cheaper than their heavy-duty cousins.

They are also slower, but cobots are highly adaptable and can be assigned to different tasks.

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"[Cobots] can learn by imitation. They tend to have cameras with vision recognition software. You can move the hand of the robot, you do a task and after a few minutes the robot is programmed," says Jonathan Cohen, portfolio manager of the $90m RoboCap UCITS Fund. This compares with 50 to 200 hours to program larger industrial robots, he adds.

One of the biggest cobot manufacturers is Universal Robots of Denmark, which was acquired for $285m in 2015 by Teradyne, a US supplier of automation equipment. Uses of its machines include putting confectionery in boxes, polishing objects and screwdriving.

While many fear that robots will steal people's jobs, proponents say cobots can improve health and safety conditions for humans by performing repetitive tasks that require uncomfortable movements such as twisting or lifting heavy objects.

Additive manufacturing

This is also known as 3D printing, because it involves building objects layer by layer out of substrates such as polymer or metal. Complex patterns based on digital designs that may not be possible with traditional manufacturing techniques can be made with less material and fewer process steps.

Additive manufacturing has existed for more than three decades but has been limited by its expense and slowness. However, more real-world applications are emerging.

"It's certainly starting to grow," says Tim Lawrence, global head of manufacturing at PA Consulting. "One of the areas it's being used for is tooling and jigs and fixtures. That's saving [companies] a lot of time from going to a tool shop to get them made."

Prototyping has long been a popular application, as 3D printing enables rapid iterations of a design. Yet it is also becoming part of tool kits for final production.

The global market in products and services for additive manufacturing increased 17.4 per cent to $6.1bn in 2016, according to Wohlers Associates, the consultancy. About 60 per cent of that spending was linked to production applications, up from about half the year before.

Healthcare and aerospace are two sectors driving adoption: 3D printing of hearing aids and dental devices has become mainstream, says Gartner, the research group.

Additive manufacturing is even being applied in space, to produce spare parts and tools, while trials are under way in "bioprinting" artificial human tissue and organs from stem cells in low gravity.

Digital twins

This expression refers to a virtual model of a process, product or service and is sometimes described as a bridge between the physical and digital world. Data from sensors are streamed from physical equipment to the virtual representation to create a continuous loop.

"In the past, you would have built a prototype of a car body, and crashed it and deformed it, put it under stress, in order to find out whether your design met specifications," explains Jan Mrosik, chief executive of German engineering group Siemens' digital factory division.

"With the digital twin we take this CAD [computer-aided design] data and simulate crash properties and deformation — everything around the mechanical part of this product."

This can make the design process quicker and less expensive, by reducing the number of physical prototypes needed and rooting out flaws or design inefficiencies.

The concept of a digital twin extends to factory floors, to enable simulation of machinery before anything is built. In the past, production lines had to be switched off to prepare for a new product being made, so downtime can be avoided.

Data from real-world finished products and manufacturing plants can be fed into the digital twins in order to tweak designs and improve performance.

There are, however, limitations to widespread adoption, say industry analysts. While digital twins are attractive for the design of mass-manufactured and expensive products, it can be harder to scale the technology for manufacturing facilities, because of their different configurations and use of equipment from different suppliers.

Supply chain tracking

The ability to trace items sent by suppliers from truck to ship, train to warehouse and eventually production line is becoming more sophisticated as the cost of hardware falls and computing power rises.

Connected freight and logistics systems used to track at the ship or truck level, but sensors can now be placed on individual pallets of goods. Separate sensors inside transport vehicles and the final destination factory detect the movement of goods.

Data from these sensors are collated and crunched by computers, revealing the location of a shipment, as well as other factors during transit that affect the goods.

"Maybe it's temperature sensitivity, humidity, vibrations — or maybe [the item] can't be tipped or tilted," explains Scott Overson, a general manager in technology company Intel's industry solutions group. "All of those kinds of parameters can also be measured, reported and analysed."

Mr Overson cites a group of drivers of refrigerated trucks on heavily congested roads, who turned off their engines while stuck in traffic. This switched off the cooling systems but since the refrigeration was back on by the end of the journey, the temperature fluctuations were not always obvious.

Connected freight systems on the other hand can make automatic corrections or send out messages to operators, while human intervention is also possible.

How to position portfolios in an age of disruption
https://www.pwmnet.com/FinTech/How-to-position-portfolios-in-an-age-of-disruption
10/11/2017
Elliot Smither
English

The pace of technological disruption is likely to increase in the years ahead. There will clearly be winners and losers from this upheaval – how should investors respond?

There is no doubt that disruptive technologies are having a huge impact on the global economy. Almost every sector seems to be feeling the impact, with new innovations shaking up the established order, while completely new industries are being created from scratch. Mainstream media is littered with references to Artificial Intelligence, BlockChain, crypto-currencies, robotics, 3D printing, automation and so on. The list seems to be endless.

The pace of this disruption is going to accelerate because of lower capital requirements, believes Frédérique Carrier, head of investment strategy at RBC Wealth Management. “The services and products that are being developed today have much lower capital requirements than was the case in the past – think of the cost of setting up Airbnb as compared to developing the railways.”

These lower capital requirements reduces the barriers for entry for potential disruptors, enhances competition and puts more pressure on incumbent companies, she explains, and it would be foolish for investors, and businesses, to underestimate this trend.

Ms Carrier highlights the example of video rental firm Blockbuster. In 2008 its CEO Jim Keys said: “Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition.” Two years later Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, and Netflix now has 116m subscribers worldwide.

So how can investors avoid holding any ‘Blockbusters’ in their portfolios?

The first step is to identify the threats to industries, she says. These could come from technology, regulation, or other areas, and those sectors most at risk are could be hit by a tsunami of all these.

For example the motor industry is facing technological change at a time when regulations are increasing, says Ms Carrier. “Here we have lithium ion batteries, electric cars and driverless cars on the tech side. And this is at a time when the regulatory burden is increasing. Safety regulations have been around for a long time but cars are now facing increasing clean air and carbon emissions standards in more and more countries.”

Added to that are societal changes, with the growing concept of the sharing economy. “We have seen studies showing how one shared vehicle could replace 10 privately-owned cars,” she says.

The second step is to assess which companies could successfully adapt to this disruption, says Ms Carrier. It helps if a company has had historical high returns, and has demonstrated an ability to innovate. “But the real key is the management’s ability and willingness to change. And the acid test of that is: is it willing to let its ‘sacred cows’ die off?”

This can be hard for businesses to do, as many feel the need to protect their legacy business. She gives the example of Kodak, who saw the threat of digital cameras coming but chose to try and protect its portable camera and film business, and ended up going through a painful bankruptcy.

Canon faced similar threats but responded differently, moving away from the mass market to focus on the high end hobbyist and professional market and aggressively went into new businesses, including medical imaging, 3D printing materials and surveillance cameras. They avoided Kodak’s fate and remain a major player.

Widespread phenomenon

What is particularly interesting about this era of disruption that it is affecting so many different sectors, says David Older, head of equities at Carmignac. He explains how in the tech valuation bubble of 1999/2000, it was enterprise-focused companies were coming to the fore, whereas now it is consumer-orientated firms, which provides for a much greater scope of disruption. 

“And it is much more global phenomenon now. Fifteen years ago those companies were only selling into developed countries. Now, when Apple releases an iPhone, it is a global event.”

The major players in technology sector have been so successful because they have managed to consistently expand their addressable markets, he explains. “Think of Amazon’s move into groceries – a new $800bn opportunity for them. It is part of these companies’ mindsets to keep on disrupting – the idea of being paranoid to survive. If you are not disrupting you are dying.”

Although some sectors are, to a certain extent, “un-Amazonable”, for example healthcare, a huge number of companies will need to alter their business models in order to survive.

“The incumbent companies are trying to adapt,” says Mr Older, “and the best will survive. I don’t think WalMart will just go away. It is in their DNA to be the price leader, take costs out where they can, and they are making some smart moves. But there will be a lot of roadkill.”

The incumbent companies are trying to adapt and the best will survive. But there will be a lot of roadkill

David Older, Carmignac

A lot of companies are in real trouble, he says, as they simply cannot change the DNA of their existing business. “The capital required for these businesses to change is so huge, and the margin dilution is too painful, it is often a bridge too far in order for them to compete.”

So it is very important for investors to avoid the losers, but are shares in the winners too highly valued?

“I don’t think those companies are expensive. Facebook is trading at 25x 2018 earnings, but those earnings are growing 65 per cent this year. And there is still plenty of growth to come – Google has $90bn in revenues and $12bn in growth expected next year. So these bigger tech guys are actually pretty cheap and will continue to win.”

But the benefits of these global companies are pretty well understood, and managers need to offer their clients more than simply buying into the biggest names to play this theme. “So we then try to balance them out with some less discovered companies, mid-cap names where we can find something the consensus is missing.”

Investing in disruption is about more than just seeking exposure to artificial intelligence or robotics, says Wesley Lebeau, portfolio manager of the Global Disruptive Opportunities fund at CPR Asset Management, rather a multi-sector approach is more likely to provide sustainable growth.

“This means investing in companies either transforming an existing market, changing the established order, or creating a new market, across the following four dimensions: the digital economy, industry 4.0, life sciences and earth. And disruptive opportunities are found in both mature, incumbent players like Google and Amazon, but also smaller early-stage companies. Therefore it’s important to have a diversified portfolio.”

Opportunities are not limited to developed markets either, he says, for example with China attempting to position itself as the world leader for electric-powered vehicles, following the government’s recent announcement that it was putting a stop date on the sale of conventional cars.

It is often difficult to identify disruptors and difficult to identify technologies which will have an impact across multiple sectors, admits Mr Lebeau. A global approach is needed to identify actors at all levels of maturity, regardless of origin, sector or market capitalisation, is needed, he says, along with effective bottom-up research. “But the returns are significant for investors willing to take a long-term view and avoid narrow definitions of what disruption means.”

A robotic future

Automation is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, and the robotics industry will be a key beneficiary of this, believes Marc Posso, portfolio manager at Man Capital LLP, which invests directly in listed robotics funds. 

Industrial robots are reinventing the manufacturing process on the production lines, he says. “Industrial robots are more mobile and much more efficient than they once were. Here we have high exposure to Japanese companies because they are quite advanced in this space and have a competitive advantage. A lot of the innovation is coming from Japan.”

Robots are also disrupting the healthcare and medical industries by improving precision in surgery and reaching difficult to access parts of the human body, says Mr Posso. “This will help solve the problem of shortage of doctors and surgeons. Medical robots can also transform the field of diagnostics, by being able to diagnose patients faster and more accurately than a doctor.”

But investors should be wary of fad-driven investing in this sector and be wary of overhyped areas, he warns. “We looked at drones, and while it is an interesting story, the competition from Chinese drone makers is eating the market share of some of the more established players in Europe. They are struggling to compete with Chinese drones, because the latter are very good quality and cheaper.”

Jonathan Cohen, managing partner at RoboCap, agrees that industrial robotics is a sub-theme which is growing strongly. “There is a shortage of key components such as high-precision gears and a 40-week delivery delay is not uncommon, giving suppliers a lot of pricing power.”

Software is also interesting, he believes, because margins and barriers to entry are high, while surgical robots is an area to watch over the next decade.

One sector to be cautious about though is 3D printing, warns Mr Cohen. “The competition is currently intense and some technology-leaders are private,” he adds.

No longer available
https://www.ft.com/content/f04128de-c4a5-11e7-b2bb-322b2cb39656
London firms preps frist robotics-Equities focused fund
http://www.slideshare.net/WilliamOMurphy/hfmtech22
21/10/2015
null
RoboCap Debuts as Third Global Robotics Fund
http://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/article/robocap_debuts_as_third_global_robotics_fund/
05/01/2016
RBR Staff
English

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17 percent internal rate of return over the last 10 years.”
— Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap

Just the third

Another robotics/automation fund has emerged, this time RoboCap LLP, a European Union fund based in London. There are only three such funds in the world.

It’s hard to believe that there are not more funds specializing in robotics and automation stocks, but there aren’t. When one does emerge from the global financial ecosystem, it’s always cause for great notice and a look at who the debutantes are and what they are selling.

 

Of course, it’s always going to robotics and automation, but what’s the product mix on which stocks they’re picking as potential winners? Better yet, what’s their investment thesis?

Previous to RoboCap (January 2016), MLRUEIN:ID there was Swiss-based Pictet Robotics (September 2015) PIROIUS:LX and the Dallas/London-based RoboGlobal (2013) NASDAQ: ROBO

See related: Robot Pride Day for NASDAQ’s Closing Bell

See related: Make Room for Another Robotics-themed Fund (Pictet Robotics)

In a nutshell

Robocap is the brainchild of Sturgeon Ventures and the investment advisor RoboCap, hence the fund’s name. They are styling the fund as a pure play robotics fund, The RoboCap UCITS Fund.

UCITS stands for “Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities,” and UCITS funds can be sold to any investor within the EU under a harmonized regulatory regime.

The firms behind the fund say that it is designed “to give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology.”

“Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry,” said Jonathan Cohen, a managing partner at RoboCap. “But we are now at an inflection point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.”

“The technology is improving daily, so now is the time to invest, yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector,” he added. “But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

The goal

“The fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the U.S., Japan, and Western Europe,” according to AlphaQ World. “The focus will be on pure-play investments, but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered. The fund will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.”

The fund is offered to all main investor types, including retail, with a minimum investment of $10,000.

Ny robotfond lanseras
http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/201601/05/20160105124322_Realtid183/20160105124322_Realtid183.dbp.asp
30/04/2016
null
Swedish

Europeiska förvaltaren Sturgeon Ventures och rådgivaren RoboCap slår ihop sig för att lansera en ny fond som ska investera specifikt i robotik och automationsteknologi.

Tanken är att nya UCITS-fonden RoboCap Automation and Robotics Fund ska ge investerare tillgång till den nästa industriella revolutionen, skriver parterna i ett gemensamt uttalande.

Fokusområde är bolag som upplever tillväxt och efterfrågan inom allt från robotteknologi till 3D-tryck. Teknologin driver disruptiva förändringar men behöver nu mer kapital till att utvecklas vidare och tanken är att Sturgeon Ventures och RoboCap ska ta tillvara det växande intresset inom området, säger RoboCaps managing partner Jonathan Cohen i en kommentar.

Fonden marknadsförs främst till förmögna investerare och institutioner i Storbritannien, övriga Europa samt andra globala aktörer. Investeringar ska göras i 22-30 bolag i USA, Japan och västra Europa.

– Många investerare undrar var de kan hitta avkastning idag. Men det är möjligt att generera alfa om fokus läggs på rätt tema, säger Sturgeons managing partner Seonaid MacKenzie.

Sturgeon ska agera som förvaltare till fonden medan RoboCap får en rådgivande roll.

Fintech on Friday: Financial services and robotics far from natural bedfellows
http://www.pwmnet.com/FinTech/Fintech-on-Friday-Financial-services-and-robotics-far-from-natural-bedfellows?ct=true
19/04/2017
Yuri Bender
English

High net worth individuals should be more interested in the investment opportunities offered by robotics and automation than their impact on wealth management, claims

Jonathan Cohen is one of a rare breed. He is both an experienced wealth manager, having worked with London & Capital, Goldman Sachs and multi-family office Bedrock, and an expert in new technology and robotics. Many would think this is a match made in heaven, with private banks queuing up to say how they are using digitisation and artificial intelligence to boost their customer experience and organisational efficiency.

But the proposed marriage between financial services and robotics is an awkward one, with very little in common between the two areas, believes Mr Cohen, managing partner of investment adviser RoboCap.

“Robots are machines controlled by microprocessors. Fintech may be a form of automation, but it does not have much to do with robotics, AI or machine learning, it is just software automation,” he says.  

“AI and machine learning will eventually have an impact on investment management, but that is not the case just yet. Robotics and automation have a greater impact on other industries. In wealth management, they are just buzzwords at this point.”

While wealth managers claim to use artificial intelligence and Big Data to help shape client experience of portfolio management, the reality is that clients are just slotted in a defined model portfolio according to their risk profile, says Mr Cohen, essentially ending up with a prefabricated solution. Apart from ATM cash machines, finance does not really lend itself to robotics in its current format, he believes.

High net worth individuals interested in this type of fast technological progress are far better off investing in other industries, which can profit from AI, suggests Mr Cohen.

One key area influenced by robotics is self-driving cars, likely to be on sale by 2019. Level 3 vehicles will be self-driving, although must have a human on board who is able to take full control within seven to 10 seconds of detecting a hazard. Vehicle manufacturers such as Tesla and Volvo use the autonomous car sensor technology, developed by Israeli firm Mobileye, recently purchased by Intel for more than $15bn, or by Nvidia.

Mr Cohen has 3 per cent of RoboCap’s $57m fund invested in Mobileye – one of typically 20-30 holdings in his product – now likely to benefit from legislation on autonomous vehicles flagged in the Queen’s Speech. 

“In the US, the framework is already in place, in Switzerland they are working on it. Every country is moving at its own pace,” he says. 

Car technology providers are still working on solutions for Level 4 vehicles, whose onboard computers can deal autonomously with a much greater variety of hazards, and Level 5, which have no steering wheel and essentially act “like a mobile living room”. 

“These cars need to use machine learning to analyse many situations to see how humans deal with each one and then adapt to cultural habits of Rome, London or Los Angeles,” says Mr Cohen.

He also expects fast development of drone technology to impact companies such as Amazon, already designing its own drones for some home deliveries. In addition to transport and logistics, other industries expected to benefit from robot-related efficiencies include manufacturing and medicine, where robots can both help perform surgery and allow disabled people to increase their strength through exo-skeletons.

RoboCap looks at investments in firms where at least 40 per cent of revenues are related to robotics. Family offices in Switzerland have been early subscribers, with several investing between €1m ($1.06m) and €2m.

Mr Cohen admits he faces an uphill struggle competing with some much larger players as he simply does not have their marketing power, overseen by big brand names Nikko, Daiwa, Axa, Pictet and Credit Suisse, though he claims his fund lost less than competitors during corrections. “Other funds lost more as they are invested in companies such as Google, so they are not pure play robotics. We want to be as pure as possible.” 

Sturgeon Ventures and RoboCap launch one of the world’s first pure-play robotics funds
http://www.sturgeonventures.com/sturgeon-ventures-and-robocap-launch-one-of-the-worlds-first-pure-play-robotics-funds/
04/01/2016
null
English

The RoboCap Automation and Robotics Fund will invest in the ‘next industrial revolution’

One of the world’s first pure play robotics funds has been launched by regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap.

The RoboCap UCITS Fund (the ‘Fund’) will give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology; from 3D printers in manufacturing to high precision surgical robots, fast-developing companies are emerging in this new sector with strong sales and earnings growth.

Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap, commented: “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.1 The market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over US$ 10 trillion by 2025.2

Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon, commented: “Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha.”

RoboCap believes it is only the second equity fund specialising in listed robotics and automation companies. It is still a niche market because it is too small to be attractive to large asset managers for now and the technological evolution and new market opportunities and risks require specialist expertise. The Advisory Board will include some of the world’s experts in robotics.

The Fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. The focus will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered. The Fund will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The Fund, which is RoboCap’s first product, is being launched as a UCITS sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon is the portfolio manager, with Jonathan as the designated portfolio manager within Sturgeon and RoboCap, as an appointed representative of Sturgeon, is the adviser.

The Fund is being offered to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK, Europe and abroad.

RoboCap has also become the 100th appointed representative of Sturgeon Ventures since it started to offer this service, with registration by the FCA being granted in less than 24 hours after submission, which is a record for the regulatory incubator. Sturgeon introduced the ‘wholesale appointed representative’ model to the London start-up community. As the pioneer of ‘regulatory incubation’, it coined the phrase in 2001.

1Source: ROBO Global (ROBOTR Index, +788% from 1-Mar-03 to 18-Dec-15)
2Source: McKinsey, Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy, 2013

Sturgeon Ventures and RoboCap Launch
https://www.thehedgefundjournal.com/news/sturgeon-ventures-and-robocap-launch
05/01/2016
null
English

One of the world’s first pure play robotics funds has been launched by regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap. The RoboCap UCITS Fund (the ‘Fund’) will give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology; from 3D printers in manufacturing to high precision surgical robots, fast-developing companies are emerging in this new sector with strong sales and earnings growth.

Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap, commented: “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.1 The market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over US$ 10 trillion by 2025.2

Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon, commented: “Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha.”

World’s first pure-play robotics funds in UCITS format
http://www.opalesque.com/industry-updates/4393/first-pure-play-robotics-funds-in-ucits.html
05/01/2017
null
English

Opalesque Industry Update - One of the world’s first pure play robotics funds has been launched by regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap.

The RoboCap UCITS Fund will give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology; from 3D printers in manufacturing to high precision surgical robots, fast-developing companies are emerging in this new sector with strong sales and earnings growth.

Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap, commented, “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.1 The market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over US$ 10 trillion by 2025.

Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon, commented, “Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha.”

RoboCap believes it is only the second equity fund specialising in listed robotics and automation companies. It is still a niche market because it is too small to be attractive to large asset managers for now and the technological evolution and new market opportunities and risks require specialist expertise. The Advisory Board will include some of the world’s experts in robotics.

The fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. The focus will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered. The Fund will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The fund, which is RoboCap’s first product, is being launched as a UCITS sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon is the portfolio manager, with Jonathan as the designated portfolio manager within Sturgeon and RoboCap, as an appointed representative of Sturgeon, is the adviser.

The fund is being offered to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK, Europe and abroad.

RoboCap has also become the 100th appointed representative of Sturgeon Ventures since it started to offer this service, with registration by the FCA being granted in less than 24 hours after submission, which is a record for the regulatory incubator. Sturgeon introduced the ‘wholesale appointed representative’ model to the London start-up community. As the pioneer of ‘regulatory incubation’, it coined the phrase in 2001.

No longer available
http://www.wealthbriefing.com/html/article.php?id=166746#.Vo0VR7aLSY0
Prime Partners' perspective: why purity is key to robotics investing
http://citywire.ch/news/prime-partners-perspective-why-purity-is-key-to-robotics-investing/a1012931?ref=international-switzerland-latest-news-list
03/05/2017
Julien Serbit & Jonathan Cohen
English

Among the post-crisis evolutions, thematic investments are playing an increasingly important role in asset management.

Robotics, artificial intelligence and automation will continue to be a prominent theme. It will certainly have one of the biggest impacts on our economies and societies. However, investing in robotics is not possible without specific skills in the field. Only a ‘pure play’ approach - selecting companies that are mainly active in robotics - allows investors to gain real exposure to the potential of the theme.

...

No longer available
http://www.alphaq.world/2016/01/05/235170/robotics-ucits-fund-launched
Investing in automation: If robots are coming for your job, how can you make money out of it?
http://www.cityam.com/258553/investing-automation-if-robots-coming-your-job-can-you-make
07/02/2017
Will Railton
English

"Robots are coming to take our jobs,” scream the headlines. The debate around automation has become alarmingly dichotomous – either your job requires skills which are resistant to computers and machines, or you’re destined for the scrap heap. The reality is probably more nuanced.  According to the McKinsey Global Institute, it is unlikely that specific jobs will be made redundant over the next decade, but parts of all jobs will become automated – and not just in industries where human labour is physical, and the processes are repetitive. Investors should take note. Robotics and automation should be seen as a theme which will impact a wide range of sectors, from logistics and agriculture to healthcare and insurance by reducing human error and boosting the low productivity which has weighed on growth since the financial crisis.  Read more: Driverless cars are hitting the streets of London next month  Working out which companies are making the best technological improvements could be key to generating high returns over a long period. So which are the biggest trends and how can investors get exposure? Consumer robotics  Driverless cars have certainly captured the public’s imagination when it comes to automation in consumer products and services, and a number of firms are scrambling to create driverless systems and sensors.  Bosch, Ford, Nissan, BMW and Tesla are currently working on autonomous vehicle systems, but it is Alphabet’s driverless unit Waymo which is racing ahead. Data released last week by the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, a regulator in the state where much driverless testing takes place, show that Waymo clocked up more than 30 times the number of driverless miles than its competitors combined, and had the fewest instances of intervention by human drivers.  Autonomous trucks may arrive even sooner, partly because motorway driving is considered easier to automate. FedEx has announced that it is investing in such vehicles, while drinks firm Anheuser Busch teamed up with Uber-owned startup Otto to successfully deliver a shipment of Budweiser in October. However, the potential reduction in labour costs may only be seen when drivers can be completely removed from trucks – which is some way off, and regulation may prove a huge barrier to profitability.  Read more: Replace 250,000 public sector jobs with robots, urges think tank  It may be more sensible to invest in firms developing vision recognition technology. “A drone, a self-driving car – any smart robot needs to recognise its environment in order to interact with it,” says Jonathan Cohen, managing partner at the RoboCap fund, which invests in robotics businesses. He picks out Keyence, a Japanese firm, or US in-sight vision specialist Cognex, as two companies operating in the space. Big and small  Industrial robotics is another fertile domain. The global market will be $24bn by 2025, according to the Boston Consulting Group, with logistics, manufacturing processes and 3D printing helping to cut costs and improve efficiency. The stocks tend to be larger, but still enjoy high margins, such as Siemens, Fanuc and ABB. All are holdings in the Pictet Robotics fund.  Read more: Artificial intelligence and robots one of biggest risks to the world  The profit made by Digital Factory – a unit at Siemens which integrates hardware and software – soared by 60 per cent to €668m in the three months to 31 December, helping the titan to raise its expectation for basic earnings per share from €6.80-7.20 to €7.20-7.70 for 2017.  Of course, the size of the companies matters as much as the size of the robots. The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS exchange-traded fund, which is offered by ETF Securities, “has a key focus on small and mid-cap companies where the high growth opportunities are,” says Howie Li. “If you hold companies like Alphabet and Apple, for example, your exposure to robotics and automation won’t be as direct,” he says. Close to 50 per cent of the RoboCap fund’s holdings are mid-cap stocks. “For us, the minimum market cap is $200m so the stock is liquid enough,” says Cohen.

Sturgeon Ventures and RoboCap launch robotics funds
http://www.fondstrends.ch/news/english-corner/newsseite/artikel/sturgeon-ventures-and-robocap-launch-one-of-the-worlds-first-pure-play-robotics-funds/
05/01/2016
jog
English

The RoboCap Automation and Robotics Fund will invest in the ‘next industrial revolution’.

One of the world’s first pure play robotics funds has been launched by regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap.

The RoboCap UCITS Fund (the ‘Fund’) will give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology; from 3D printers in manufacturing to high precision surgical robots, fast-developing companies are emerging in this new sector with strong sales and earnings growth.

Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap and former CIO of Swiss Asset Manager Huet & Cie BV, commented: “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.1 The market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over US$ 10 trillion by 2025.2

Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon, commented: “Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha.”

RoboCap believes it is only the second equity fund specialising in listed robotics and automation companies. It is still a niche market because it is too small to be attractive to large asset managers for now and the technological evolution and new market opportunities and risks require specialist expertise. The Advisory Board will include some of the world’s experts in robotics.

The Fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. The focus will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered. The Fund will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The Fund, which is RoboCap’s first product, is being launched as a UCITS sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon is the portfolio manager, with Jonathan as the designated portfolio manager within Sturgeon and RoboCap, as an appointed representative of Sturgeon, is the adviser.

The Fund is being offered to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK, Europe and abroad.

RoboCap has also become the 100th appointed representative of Sturgeon Ventures since it started to offer this service, with registration by the FCA being granted in less than 24 hours after submission, which is a record for the regulatory incubator. Sturgeon introduced the ‘wholesale appointed representative’ model to the London start-up community. As the pioneer of ‘regulatory incubation’, it coined the phrase in 2001.

1 Source: ROBO Global (ROBOTR Index, +788% from 1-Mar-03 to 18-Dec-15)

2 Source: McKinsey, Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy, 2013

Robotics funds gather momentum with second launch
http://www.ftadviser.com/2016/01/05/investments/equities/robotics-funds-gather-momentum-with-second-launch-hOp3Mtdhgxx9VaZrE7e1FL/article.html
05/01/2016
null
English

Robotics funds gather momentum with second launch

Digital humanism the new big thing in tech
http://www.afr.com/technology/digital-humanism-the-new-big-thing-in-tech-20151218-glqruo
08/06/2016
Yolanda Redrup
English

Workplace tech

In the past 2.5 years team communication tool Slack has grown from zero to more than 1.1 million daily users and a valuation of more than $3.5 billion. 

Throughout 2015 one of the most popular markets for start-ups was HR, with companies such as ASX-listed Reffind and rich lister Mitchell Harper's PeopleSpark launching. Global sales and marketing giant Salesforce also made a foray into HR tech, creating a set of employee engagement tools.

In 2016, these workplace apps and digital tools will continue to increase in popularity.

Pollenizer's Morle says eventually there will be an app store just for the workplace.

"At Pollenizer, 70 per cent of our emails disappeared when we adopted Slack," he says. "Then there are some sexy technologies which feel like they're going to be game changers, like the 360-degree video. That will change media and retail and it will give us different ways of buying things."

The Bersin by Deloitte 2015 HR Factbook says big companies are spending about 10 per cent of their HR budget of new tools and technology and in the US overall HR spend is up 4 per cent year-on-year. It's significant money when the market is worth more than $400 billion.

One of the biggest HR tech start-ups, Zenefits, is valued at $US4.5 billion now, after raising $US500 million in May 2015 from a group of venture capital firms, including Fidelity Investments and private investment firm TPG.

Helping workers is one thing but automation of the workforce is another big trend that is likely to gather steam in 2016.

Already large banks including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Citi are experimenting with robots. At ANZ, tasks usually completed by employees in a range of areas, such as payroll and helpdesk support, are increasingly being conducted by intelligent software that learns on the job. 

A landmark technology disruption report by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch also found that robots would be performing almost half of all manufacturing tasks in the next 10 years.

Through the use of robots, these jobs will be done more quickly and cheaply, but will lead to widespread job losses, especially among low-skilled workers.

A Markets and Markets report found that the service robotics market will grow to $US18.02 billion globally by 2020, while the industrial robotics market will be valued at $US40.08 billion. 

McKinsey and Company has even larger estimates, forecasting that the automation of knowledge work, advanced robotics and 3D printing will be worth up to $US13.8 trillion by 2025.

On Wednesday the world's third global robotics fund, Robocap, launched in Britain, aiming to capitalise on high-growth robotics and automation stocks.

Australian investors already had the chance to invest in the rise of the machines, with robot bricklaying company Fastbrick Robotics listing on the ASX in November 2015.

Data61 senior principal scientist, strategy and foresight, Stefan Hajkowicz says automation is going to have a big impact on jobs that involve repeatable tasks and in the services industries.

"But robots will quickly hit a wall when anything is irregular in the environment. If it had to get into a small space, it would struggle," he says.

"There will be a push towards automation, but it won't be ubiquitous." 

Hajkowicz says businesses will also get smarter with how to use big data and will keep moving on to the cloud.

"We're still only just finding out how to use the information from big data . . . it will be a significant factor in improved decision making in organisations," he says.


Read more: http://www.afr.com/technology/digital-humanism-the-new-big-thing-in-tech-20151218-glqruo#ixzz4zkJvtcpB
Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

Two firms follow Pictet into robotics fund sector
http://www.funds-europe.com/home/news/17346-two-firms-follow-pictet-into-robotics-fund-sector
06/01/2016
Steve Dimitrov
English

Sturgeon Ventures, a so-called “regulatory incubator”, and RoboCap, an investment adviser, have jointly launched a Ucits robotics fund, giving investors the chance to invest in companies developing 3D printers and high precision surgical robots.

RoboCap believes it has launched only the second equity fund specialising in listed robotics and automation companies following Pictet Asset Management’s September 2015 fund launch.

Robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices, returning around 17% over the last ten years, the firms say. They also state the market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over $10 trillion (€9.3 trillion) by 2025.

The Ucits fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. It will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector,” said Jonathan Cohen, managing partner at RoboCap who is also managing the fund.

The fund is offered to all main investor types, including retail, with a minimum investment of 10,000 pounds, euros or dollars.

I, Robot Fund
http://www.globalcustody.net/n8451
05/01/2016
English

One of the world's first pure play robotics funds has been launched by regulatory incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap.

The pairing say the RoboCap UCITS Fund will give investors the opportunity to take part in the industrial revolution being driven by the advent of robotics and automation technology, from 3D printers in manufacturing to high precision surgical robots. Fast-developing companies are emerging in this new sector with strong sales and earnings growth, they add

Jonathan Cohen, Managing Partner, RoboCap, commented: "Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflection point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

"The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders. Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors."

RoboCap calculates that robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17 percent internal rate of return over the last ten years. The market for robotics and automation is estimated to reach over US$ 10 trillion by 2025.2

Said Seonaid Mackenzie, Managing Partner at Sturgeon: "Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha."

RoboCap believes it is only the second equity fund specializing in listed robotics and automation companies. It is still a niche market because it is too small to be attractive to large asset managers and the technological evolution and new market opportunities and risks require specialist expertise. The Advisory Board will include some of the world's experts in robotics.

The Fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. The focus will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered. The Fund will focus on just 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The Fund, RoboCap's first product, is being launched as a UCITS sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures.

Sturgeon Ventures launches robotics and automation fund
http://www.international-adviser.com/news/1026788/sturgeon-ventures-launches-robotics-automation-fund
05/01/2016
Richard Hubbard
English

Sturgeon Ventures, a specialist in start-up financial services businesses, has launched a pure play robotics fund.

The RoboCap Ucits Fund will select investments from a universe of around 150 stocks in the robotics and automation technology sector which incudes 3D Printing, drones and autonomous vehicle value chains.

The fund is being offered to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK and internationally.

It is being launched as a Ucits sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon is the portfolio manager, with Jonathan Cohen as the designated portfolio manager.

Disruptive value

Cohen founded RoboCap in August 2015 after leaving London & Capital Asset Management where he led a team of three portfolio managers.

“Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging,” Cohen said.

"Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry."

“The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector.

“Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

Niche market

Seonaid Mackenzie, managing partner at Sturgeon, said RoboCap is believed to be only the second equity fund specialising in listed robotics and automation companies.

“It is still a niche market because it is too small to be attractive to large asset managers for now and the technological evolution and new market opportunities and risks require specialist expertise. The Advisory Board will include some of the world’s experts in robotics,” she said.

Investicijų valdytojas: ateitis priklauso robotams
http://vz.lt/rinkos/2016/10/29/investiciju-valdytojas-ateitis-priklauso-robotams
28/10/2016
Paulius Čiulada
Lituanian

Pasaulio pramonė jau išgyveno tris revoliucijas, tačiau dar ne visi pastebėjo, kad prieš maždaug 5 metus prasidėjo ketvirtoji – robotų ir automatizacijos revoliucija, kuri neturėtų praslysti pro investuotojų akis, teigia Jonathanas Cohenas, Jungtinės Karalystės investicijų bendrovės „Robocap“ vykdomasis partneris.

 

Taip p. Cohenas, kalbėjo ketvirtadienį ir penktadienį Rygoje vykusiame Baltijos šalių įsigijimų ir susijungimų (angl. mergers and acquisitions, M&A) forume, kurį organizuoja Baltijos šalių verslo dienraščiai „Verslo žinios“, „Aripaev“ ir „Dienas Bizness“.

Ji sako, kad jei XIX a. pramonės revoliuciją sukėlė tokie išradimai, kaip garo mašina, elektros lemputė, praeitame amžiuje – automobiliai ir lėktuvai, o praeito amžiaus pabaigoje – kompiuteriai, tai maždaug 2011 m prasidėjo nauja pramonės revoliucija, kurią sukels robotai ir automatizacijos sprendimai.

„Robocap“ yra bendrovė, pernai įsteigusį fondą, kuris investuoja išimtinai į robotus ir automatizacijos sprendimus kuriančias bendroves, kotiruojamas akcijų biržoje. Fondas šiuo metu valdo 33 mln. USD vertės turtą ir šiemet sausį-rugsėjį uždirbo 13,7% grąžą. Fondas paprastai laiko 20-30 investicinių pozicijų ir orientuojasi į 12-15% metinę grąžą. Tai buvo trečias fondas pasaulyje, besiorientuojantis į šią sritį.

„Mes manome, kad robotai ir automatizacija yra ta sritis, kuri atneš didelių galimybių investuotojams, nes robotai išspręs ir pakeis daugelį pramonės šiuo metu taikomų sprendimų“, - sako p. Cohenas.

Pasak jo, tam ypač pasitarnaus pingančios ir sparčiai tobulėjančios technologijos, o senstanti visuomenė yra dar viena priežastis, dėl kurios pramonė vis labiau kliausis robotais, o ne žmonių darbo jėga.


RoboCap and Sturgeon launch robot fund
http://www.internationalinvestment.net/products/robocap-and-sturgeon-launch-robot-fund/
06/01/2016
James Fernyhough
English

Investors who want to bet on the global robotics industry can now do so through a newly-launched specialist fund, the RoboCap UCITS Fund.

Managed by ‘regulatory incubator’ Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap, the fund will invest  in technologies such as 3D-printing in manufacture and high-precision surgical robotics, Sturgeon and RoboCap said in a joint announcement today.

The fund will aim to hold between 22 and 30 long positions in companies listed in the US, Japan and Western Europe, with an investment time frame of approximately 12 months.

RoboCap managing director Jonathan Cohen said: “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point, because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.”

RoboCap said robotics and automation stocks have delivered an internal rate of return of more than 17% over the last 10 years. It estimated that the market for the sector will exceed $10trn by 2025.

The London-based fund is targeted at institutional, high net worth and family office investors, with a minimum investment of £10,000 (and the approximate equivalent in euros, US dollars and Swiss francs). It is open to international investors, Sturgeon and RoboCap said.

The RoboCap UCITS Fund is the latest robotics fund to launch in the last three months. Pictet Asset Management launched its own such fund in October.

Rise of the machines: The big robotics themes for 2017
http://www.investmentweek.co.uk/investment-week/opinion/3003099/the-big-robotics-themes-investors-should-keep-an-eye-on-in-2017?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IW.SP_04.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_source=IW.DCM.Editors_Updates&im_edp=sturgeonventures.com
23/01/2017
Dominic Keen
English

Dominic Keen, founder and CEO of Britbots, explains why robotics looks likely to emerge as one of the most active areas of early stage investing in 2017.

As automation and robotisation begin to drive significant productivity improvements across the global economy, we are all becoming increasingly aware of the important role that robots and artificial intelligence will play in our lives in the near future.

The promise of robotisation within many areas potentially suggests that we are at the dawn of a new industrial revolution that will spur on economic growth over future years. Consequently, robotics looks likely to emerge as one of the most active areas of early stage investing in 2017.  

Furthermore, to the benefit of investors, the level of risk can now be greatly reduced by taking advantage of the significant tax efficiencies available through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) that was first introduced in 2012.

A growing market

Recent rapid falls in the cost of low-run component production (by use of 3D printing) and the growing sophistication of cognitive computing packages have created an opportunity for leaner start-ups to cost-efficiently develop their 'minimum viable product' and demonstrate initial commercial viability of their robots. 

Additionally, Robotics and Autonomous Systems has recently become a focus area for government-backed innovation grants, meaning that investments in this area are being further de-risked.

Until recently the vast majority of robots were sold to automate high-volume manufacturing tasks, however much of the excitement around the new generation of robotics start-ups appears to be focused on applications outside the factory.  

Robotics increasingly can be applied to a wide variety of activities across a range of business sectors such as logistics; agriculture; construction; domestic appliances; security; or specialist medical equipment. 

Everyday examples

There is evidence to suggest that a vibrant scene for robotics innovation is beginning to emerge. British universities are home to some of the best robotics and artificial intelligence labs in the world and, as the pool of national expertise grows, we are now starting to see this spill out into applied commercial activities.  

Amazon Prime Air recently commenced the first field tests of its autonomous drone-based parcel delivery service in the UK. Google DeepMind, based in London, continues to pioneer the application of cognitive computing to real-world problems. And Dyson has released its 360 Eye robotic vacuum-cleaner.  

Alongside headline-grabbing developments within institutions and corporations, we have witnessed an increasing numbers of robotics start-ups. Incubator programmes, such as the one at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, are now acting as a springboard for exciting young companies lsuch as Open Bionics and Reach Robotics.

The recent launch of the British Robotics Seed Fund, the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund offering investors an opportunity to participate in a mixed basket of innovative businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotic technologies, will allow promising businesses to finance their early activities and become well positioned to go on to become world-leaders. 

There are also now a number of ETF products aimed at providing robotics coverage in the public markets such as ROBO Global and Robocap.

Frugal robotics

Frugal robotics is a trend looking to aggressively reduce the cost of robotics components and platforms so that the amount of upfront capital investment that a user is required to make can be minimised.  

London-based start-up Automata Technologies, a maker of low-cost robotic arms, won ABB's global innovation challenge and is heading down this route by charging its customers a sub-£300 monthly fee for an arm, where currently an equivalently-specified alternative would cost more than £25,000.

Addressing labour shortages

Addressing labour shortages that have arisen from of a lack of human appetite for particular types of work is an obvious application-area for robotics. 

For example, recently it has become extremely difficult to find agricultural labourers to work on British farms. Without this pool of labour, farmers are having to take a serious look at robotic substitutes.  

Dogtooth Technologies, the developer of a strawberry-picking robot, is undergoing trials with a number of major fruit-growers with an automated picker. 

Equally, labour shortages for carers-of-the-elderly are well documented with robotic solutions under development.

Fully autonomous operation

While in the popular imagination, robots are seen to be sophisticated and multi-functional, the current realty is very different. Successful robotics start-ups must address a specific problem-type. Building up to fully autonomous operation is essential to managing technology risk. 

In December, Just Eat made its first driverless take-away delivery in Greenwich, southeast London, using a small land-based robotic cart developed by Starship Technologies. These carts can controlled by a remotely-based human operator as a pre-cursor to a fully autonomous system.   

As the tools and expertise required to build a robotics business proliferate, expect in 2017 to see an explosion of robotic start-ups. 

With the substantial tax benefits available under SEIS, there are likely to be attractive investment opportunities available and there's every reason to believe that this new crop of British robots will become important players for the future.

No longer available
http://myinforms.com/en/a/21453536-sturgeon-ventures-launches-robotics-and-automation-fund/
M&A Forum: Invest in robots or they will invest in you!
http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ff60bceb-8abb-4f8e-83b3-459819016b55
27/10/2016
Sorainen
English

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.

Sturgeon Ventures and RoboCap unveil 'pure play' robotics fund
http://moderninvestor.com/news/sturgeon-ventures-and-robocap-unveil-pure-play-robotics-fund/a871569
05/01/2016
Luca Rossi
English

Investment management firm Sturgeon Ventures and adviser RoboCap have launched a ‘pure play’ robotics fund to benefit from the industrial revolution in automation technology.

The RoboCap Ucits fund will target fast-developing companies that are emerging in the robotics sector, from 3D printer manufacturers to high precision surgical robot makers.

The fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. It will also focus on 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The emphasis will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered.

Commenting on the launch, RoboCap’s managing partner and manager of the RoboCap fund, Jonathan Cohen, said: ‘Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflection point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.’

‘The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders.’

According to the companies, robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.

Seonaid Mackenzie, managing partner at Sturgeon, added: 'Many investors are vexed as to where they can achieve returns in markets that seem to be overstretched around the world. But alpha is potentially achievable if investors focus on the right themes. We have certainly seen investors increasingly adopt a thematic approach in their search for alpha.'

The fund, which is RoboCap’s first product, is being launched as a Ucits sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon will be the portfolio manager, while RoboCap will act as the adviser.

At the end of September, Pictet Asset Management announced it was about to launch a new fund to invest in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies.

No longer available
http://www.nzz.ch/finanzen/uebersicht-finanzen/megatrend-automatisierung-megatrend-automatisierung-ld.84071
Do robots dream of asset managers?
http://moderninvestor.com/news/do-robots-dream-of-asset-managers/a893317?ref=modern_investor_latest_news_list
27/03/2016
Daniel Rzasa
English

In his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick tells a story of an android hunter whose biggest dream is to replace his pet robotic sheep with a live one. For a person living in the post-apocalyptic world where owning a private robot servant or animals is nothing unusual, possession of a real live pet would be the ultimate status symbol.

Even though Dick was a science fiction writer, recent rapid adavancements in robotics mean that parts of his fantastical vision may materialise, with the world is set change even faster than after the internet was invented.

‘Robotics is going to impact every single industry. It is not science fiction, it is already happening. If you look at the sales of 3D printers, drones, industrial robots, we speak about double-digit returns,’ says Jonathan Cohen, manager of the recently launched RoboCap Ucits fund, which has been unveiled by UK-based firm Robocap.

One industry being impacted by the robotics revolution is finance. A robo-advisor is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use human financial planners. While some experts believe they’re untested and unaccountable, others look at them as a great way to invest in a cheaper and more efficient way.

Viva la robolution

In 2015 the robotics industry grew by 15% on the year, establishing a new record in robot sales worldwide, according to the president of the International Federation of Robotics, Joe Gemma.

Despite the significant growth, the future of many areas of robotics still remains risky, as uncertainty over regulation of driverless cars or drone usage holds back the industry.

‘Regarding drones, I’m interested to see how it will play out in terms of regulation. Some companies are looking to find their niche at the moment, but regulation is key because a government can kill a company overnight by changing the rules,’ says Bruno Bonnell, partner at Robolution Capital, a private equity fund dedicated to service robotics.

He adds that similar risk applies to driverless cars. ‘The days of those cars in open roads will not come soon because it would infringe upon many parties’ interests.’

However, Bonnell, who wrote a book about robotics titled Viva la Robolution (which, unlike Dick’s novel, is not science fiction), says that there are areas in robotics that have already overcome many hurdles, including regulation, and they are still growing rapidly. ‘Today we see a boom in industrial robotics and this is probably the safest bet within the sector at the moment. The companies are a decent size and most likely know what they are doing.’

"Robotics is going to impact every single industry. It is not science fiction, it is already happening."

Jonathan Cohen, Robocap Ucits fund.
 

 

Cohen from RoboCap agrees that industrial robotics is by far the most advanced sector, and the one spearheading the rise of robotics.

‘Boston Consulting Group says that the rate of automation will double in the next 10 years because costs of robots are going down. At the same time robots can do things they weren’t able to do a couple of years ago. A combination of these factors will bring changes we could only dream of a few years back.’

He adds that today the automotive industry is leading the way in robotics use. ‘Aviation is one step behind, then comes mobile electronics, and then you have logistics. For instance, if you order something on Amazon, you have robots who find and prepare your package in the magazine.’

 

Collaborative androids

Yet while robotics is heavily reliant on the automotive industry, the next stage of development — called collaborative robotics — will likely make it less dependent on business cycles in the auto industry, say Karen Kharmandarian and Peter Lingen, managers of the €225-million Sicav fund Pictet Robotics.

 

 

‘Collaborative robots, which can work alongside human workers, are the next step of industrial robotics. They are smaller, safer, smarter than previous generations, as well as cheaper, which means they can also be considered as potential purchases by SMEs.’

 

An example of a company well placed to benefit from this transition is Germany-based KUKA, in which the Pictet-Robotics fund has been invested since its inception in October 2015.

 

‘KUKA has significant exposure to traditional robots. However, the new generation of collaborative robots will help to diversify their production from the automotive sector and thus its exposure to the market cycle of car manufacturers. We think that KUKA will be one of the longer-term winners in robotics.’

 

The upcoming robot revolution is not all roses and some investors raise concerns about the negative outcomes it might bring.

 

In the February edition of Modern Investor, the CIO of the UK’s Environment Agency Pension Fund, Mark Mansley, said that in the long term he was concerned by the fact that the rise in the number of jobs robots will be able to perform will further spur wealth inequality.

 

‘Henry Ford thought it was important to pay his workers enough to allow them to buy his cars. If the age of robotics means workers are not working anymore, who is going to buy those cars?’

 

Yet despite the many uncertainties, robots are on track to revolutionise production processes, as well as our day-to-day lives.

 

‘What the internet did for services, robotics will do for products,’ says Robolution’s Bonnell. ‘I predict a robotics boom before 2020 and it will actually be much bigger than the internet boom.’ 

Time to invest in robotics?
http://www.opalesque.com/664376/Time_to_invest_in437.html
16/05/2017
Benedicte Gravrand
English

The London-based, Swiss-born manager of the RoboCap UCITS Fund, talks to Opalesque about investing in the robotics revolution.

RoboCap launched in January 2016 and focuses on global robotics and automation listed equities. It is up 23.64% YTD and up 40.74% since inception. The strategy manages more than $70m.

Opalesque: How do you define robotics?

Jonathan Cohen: We define a robot as any machine which is controlled by a microprocessor, which means that it can be programmed and reprogrammed. We would include self-driving cars, drones, industrial robots, 3D printing, surgical robots, exoskeletons, robots for logistics, artificial intelligence, key components on the software side and on the hardware side, so the whole value chain.

Opalesque: It's not only machines, it's also software, hardware, artificial intelligence.

Jonathan Cohen: Yes, so a machine can recognize its environments, it needs a software for vision recognition. Once it has recognized the objects, it can interact with it, then you can have some decision making. For example, a self-driving car needs to recognize trees or humans crossing the road, and then incorporate the information to make decisions.

Opalesque: So what do you......................

No longer available
https://event.webcasts.com/viewer/event.jsp?ei=1090283
Robotics fund launched
http://m.heraldscotland.com/business/14182978.Robotics_fund_launched/
05/01/2016
null
English

An investment fund which claims to be one of the world’s first funds to allow investors to put money into robotics has been launched by incubator Sturgeon Ventures and investment adviser RoboCap.

The RoboCap UCITS Fund aims to channel investment into high-growth fields of robotics and automation technology such as 3D printers and high-precision surgical robots.

Jonathan Cohen of RoboCap said: “Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

“Our aim is to become the leading investor in robotics and automation listed stocks, delivering the best risk-adjusted returns for investors.”

London firm preps first robotics-focused equities fund
https://hfm.global/hfmweek/news/london-firm-to-launch-first-robotics-focused-equities-fund/
27/08/2015
Maiya Keidan
English

New London manager Robocap plans to open what it is believed to be the first actively managed robotics and automation-focused equities Ucits fund to external investors next month, HFMWeek has learned. The fund will initially take long positions in companies that produce 3D printers, autonomous vehicles, drones, robots for surgeries,... Need account to read the rest

Hedge funds coming into the space
http://investorshub.advfn.com/boards/read_msg.aspx?message_id=117299160
27/09/2015
Adrock
English


New London manager Robocap plans to open what it is believed to be the first actively managed robotics and automation-focused equities Ucits fund to external investors next month, HFMWeek has learned.

The fund will initially take long positions in companies that produce 3D printers, autonomous vehicles, drones, robots for surgeries, etc., with plans to add shorting in the near-future.

“As of today, there are no other [actively managed] funds in this space focused on listed equities,” Jonathan Cohen, Robocap founder, told HFMWeek. “A lot of investors like this theme.”

Robocap expects to start with day-one capital of $10m committed from a private bank, family offices and asset managers.

The fund has been running internally since May 2014, returning 33% between last May and June 2015.

Cohen is originally from Geneva where he was an equities and hedge funds analyst at Bedrock, acted as an investment professional at Goldman Sachs and took on a CIO role at Huet. He was most recently a senior portfolio manager at London & Capital before starting Robocap.

He is joined by senior investment analyst Heenal Patel.

Sturgeon Ventures acts as the portfolio manager and the fund sits on the ML Capital platform.

Cohen tells HFMWeek that Robocap plans to submit its FCA authorisation in a couple months

Auf den Siegeszug der Roboter setzen
https://www.nzz.ch/finanzen/uebersicht-finanzen/megatrend-automatisierung-megatrend-automatisierung-ld.84071
22/05/2016
Michael Schäfer
Deutsche

Eine jüngst aus Guangzhou verbreitete Nachricht passt so gar nicht in das Bild der Roboter, die immer mehr zu Alleskönnern werden. Zwei Restaurants, die in der südchinesischen Stadt solche als Bedienung einsetzten, haben geschlossen, ein drittes setzte die automatischen Serviertöchter vor die Tür. Anscheinend waren die nicht zuletzt aus Marketingzwecken beschäftigten Hilfen schlichtweg zu tollpatschig, um ihren menschlichen Vorbildern ernsthaft Konkurrenz machen zu können.

Allerdings ist es ebenfalls nur einige Tage her, dass ein Operationsroboter selbständig eine Darmwunde vernäht hat. Und was die Nachricht zu mehr als einer Randnotiz macht: Der Roboter absolvierte die als sehr anspruchsvoll geltende Aufgabe besser als erfahrene menschliche Operateure. Vor wenigen Wochen besiegte dann ein Computer den südkoreanischen Meister des äusserst komplexen asiatischen Brettspiels Go, Lee Sedol. Ähnlich wie die legendären Duelle des damaligen russischen Schachweltmeisters Garri Kasparow gegen die IBM-Computer Deep Thought und Deep Blue Mitte der neunziger Jahre werden die Erfolge von Alphago als Indikator für den Entwicklungsstand der künstlichen Intelligenz angesehen.

Es sind vor allem die Fortschritte in diesem Feld, die Robotern einen weiteren Schub gegeben haben, was Experten dazu bewegt, von einer neuen Generation zu sprechen, der inzwischen dritten. Arbeiteten die Maschinen zunächst stationär, wurden sie mit der Zeit mobil. Heute sind sie in der Lage, gemeinsam mit Menschen an einem Produkt zu werkeln, weshalb dieser Typ «collaborative robot» oder «cobot» genannt wird. Zudem sind Roboter inzwischen in der Lage, voneinander zu lernen.

Im Zuge der Entwicklung sind die Roboter aber nicht nur intelligenter und sicherer geworden, sondern auch kleiner, leichter und insbesondere auch billiger. Durch all die neuen und verbesserten Fähigkeiten lassen sie sich flexibler einsetzen, und es kommen laufend weitere Anwendungsbereiche hinzu. Im persönlichen Umfeld hat man sich an selbständige Rasenmäher und Staubsauger bereits gewöhnt, demnächst soll es auch Roboterköche geben.

Im kommerziellen Bereich sind Roboter ebenfalls auf dem Vormarsch. In der Logistik beispielsweise sind sie nicht mehr wegzudenken. Viele Lagerhäuser und Verteilzentren funktionieren nicht mehr ohne sie, und es scheint nur noch eine Frage der Zeit zu sein, bis Drohnen im grossen Stil vollautomatisiert Pakete ausliefern. Und auch wenn die in Guangzhou als Bedienung genutzten Modelle ihrer Aufgabe anscheinend nicht gewachsen waren, werden in Japan bereits seit geraumer Zeit Pflegeroboter eingesetzt, und auch in der Ausbildung kommen sie zunehmend zum Zug.

Die Fortschritte bei der künstlichen Intelligenz geben der Entwicklung von Robotern einen weiteren Schub.

Derzeit wird der weltweite Robotermarkt auf rund 20 Mrd. $ jährlich geschätzt. Die Beratungsfirma Boston Consulting Group erwartet für die kommende Dekade eine jährliche Wachstumsrate von 10%, was das Volumen auf über 50 Mrd. $ steigern würde. Karen Kharmandarian, Manager des Robotics-Fonds bei Pictet, hält die Prognose sogar für konservativ. Viele künftige Anwendungen seien noch nicht bekannt, insofern seien eher positive als negative Überraschungen wahrscheinlich. Bedenkt man, dass Technologieriesen wie Amazon, Facebook oder Google/Alphabet (Alphago wurde von der von Google gekauften Firma Deepmind entwickelt) ebenfalls ein gewichtiges Wort mitreden wollen, ist die Vermutung wohl nicht aus der Luft gegriffen.

Den wichtigsten Teil des zivilen Marktes – auch beim Militär spielen Roboter zunehmend eine Rolle – machen immer noch Industrieroboter aus. Zumindest für die nächsten drei Jahre erwartet der Branchenverband International Federation of Robotics (IFR) für dieses Teilsegment überdurchschnittliche Wachstumsraten von schätzungsweise 15%. Zu einem Teil sollte dies auf die zunehmende Verbreitung der «cobots» zurückzuführen sein. Diese sind nicht nur flexibler einsetzbar, sondern mit Stückpreisen von vielfach unter 50 000 Fr. auch deutlich erschwinglicher als traditionelle Industrieroboter, was sie auch für viele KMU interessant macht.

Zweiter zentraler Treiber dürfte laut den Analytikern der UBS eine markant wachsende Nachfrage aus China sein. Im Reich der Mitte beträgt die Roboterdichte rund ein Zehntel der japanischen, und die Lohnstückkosten sind dort in den vergangenen Jahren rasant angestiegen. Zudem mangelt es im Fertigungsbereich zunehmend an Arbeitskräften. Aus Investorensicht hat das Segment der Industrieroboter-Hersteller den Vorteil, dass es mit den Hauptanbietern ABB (Schweiz), Fanuc und Yaskawa (beide Japan) sowie Kuka (Deutschland) sehr überschaubar ist.

Nachteilig ist dagegen, dass bei ABB der Bereich nur einen kleinen Teil des Konzernumsatzes ausmacht. Zudem sind die Aktien von Roboterherstellern längst kein Geheimtipp mehr. Vor allem die Valoren von Kuka gelten bei etlichen Experten seit langem als teuer. Nach einem Kurssprung von rund 25% in der vergangenen Woche als Reaktion auf das Übernahmeangebot durch die chinesische Firma Midea ist die Bewertung nochmals deutlich angestiegen. Das Kurs-Gewinn-Verhältnis (KGV) liegt laut Bloomberg nun bei über 42, bei den Titeln im Robotersegment beträgt es durchschnittlich 17.

Die beiden Muster gelten auch für viele andere Gesellschaften. Wie bei ABB machen die relevanten Aktivitäten oftmals nur einen kleinen Anteil aus. Bei Google sind es etwa 20%, was für Kharmandarian gerade genug ist, um die Titel in seinen Fonds aufzunehmen. Die Papiere von stark auf die Robotertechnologie fokussierten Firmen sind dagegen wie die von Kuka häufig teuer. Etwa jene von Intuitive Surgical (KGV 39), mit deren Operationsroboter Da Vinci bereits 3 Mio. minimalinvasive Eingriffe durchgeführt wurden.

Die Zulieferer der Roboterhersteller
dürften besonders von den hohen Wachstumsraten profitieren.

Erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass in so manchem Bereich grosse technologische Unsicherheiten herrschen. Dies gilt laut Mark Hawtin, der bei GAM einen Technologiefonds verwaltet, beispielsweise für den 3-D-Druck. Entgegen hochgesteckten Hoffnungen wird die Technologie noch immer vorwiegend für die Herstellung von Prototypen oder Produkten in Kleinserie verwendet. So mancher Hersteller der Drucker macht finanziell schwere Zeiten durch, und die Aktien der einstigen Highflyer Stratasys und 3D Systems sind seit ihren Höchstständen um über 80% gefallen. Nun droht eine Entwicklung des Computerherstellers Hewlett Packard die Branche umzukrempeln. HP will im Herbst einen 3-D-Drucker vorstellen, der zehnmal schneller sein soll als bisherige Geräte und das zum halben Preis.

Eine weitere Hürde ist für Hawtin die Tatsache, dass es im Feld der Robotik noch viele offene regulatorische bzw. juristische Fragen gibt, die das Wachstum bremsen könnten. Dazu zählt etwa die der Haftung, wenn es zu Unfällen mit Operationsrobotern oder selbstfahrenden Autos kommt. Schliesslich seien viele relevante Unternehmen gar nicht börsenkotiert und somit für viele Anleger nicht zugänglich.

Für Kharmandarian ist die letztgenannte Problematik weniger relevant, weil er auch Titel von Zulieferern der Roboterindustrie im Fonds berücksichtigt. Die Logik ist einfach: Werden mehr Roboter produziert, profitieren auch die Unternehmen, die dafür nötige Motoren, Sensoren oder die immer wichtiger werdende Software liefern. Aber auch Kharmandarian attestiert, dass das Thema «Roboter» für Anleger kein einfaches ist, was er als Argument für aktiv verwaltete Fonds versteht. Von diesen gibt es derzeit aber nur wenige. Neben dem Pictet Robotics sind dies etwa der Nikko Global Robotics Equity Fund und der Robocap Fund. Einen ETF bietet ETF Securities (Robo Global Robotics and Automation) an.

Rise of the robots: top managers on the fourth industrial revolution
http://citywireselector.com/news/rise-of-the-robots-top-managers-on-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/a875009
20/01/2016
Margaryta Kirakosian
English

The Davos World Economic Forum started today with the main theme being the fourth industrial revolution, which will see automation and robots penetrating industrial production as well as other spheres of everyday life.

Fund managers are trying to keep up with this emerging trend, with Pictet Asset Management having launched a dedicated robotics fund in September, while investment management firm Sturgeon Ventures and adviser RoboCap also unveiled a so-called ‘pure play’ robotics strategy earlier this year.

Referencing a Boston Consulting study, Jonathan Cohen, a managing partner of RoboCap, said acceleration of automation will double over the next 10 years, with robots becoming more sophisticated and cheaper.

'In another study Foxconn, a manufacturer of iPhones in China, looked at the salary of a Chinese employee, which is increasing year after year. It appeared that since 2011 it is cheaper for the company to use robots than human employees,’ Cohen told Citywire Selector.

Pieter Busscher, manager of the RobecoSAM Smart Materials fund, also sees significant growth in the robotics sector, as the focus shifts from a pure efficiency to collaborative models where machine and man work together.

‘We are moving from the current level of around 240,000 robots per year, which is especially driven by strong growth in China. We anticipate the addressable market to increase by multiple orders of magnitude. That is why we have been increasing our exposure in the automation and robotics theme,’ said Busscher in a comment to Citywire Selector.

Busscher said the industrial robotics market is expected to accelerate from 11% average annual growth since 2002, to 25-30% over the next 10 years, and could result in an installed base of 15-25 million robots by 2025.

No longer available
https://village.albourne.com/village/pub/1668551
English

Need access code

Le nouvel univers de la robotique
https://www.agefi.com/quotidien-agefi/une/detail/edition/2016-01-14/article/le-nouvel-univers-de-la-robotique-416628.html
14/01/2016
null
French

No longer available

Credit Suisse launches robotics fund for thematic star
http://citywireselector.com/news/credit-suisse-launches-robotics-fund-for-thematic-star/a928114
03/07/2016
Margaryta Kirakosian
English

Credit Suisse has launched a new thematic fund focused on robotics and automation, the Swiss asset management firm has announced.

The CS (Lux) Global Robotics Equity Fund is managed by Citywire A-rated Patrick Kolb, who is also responsible for the CS (Lux) Global Security Equity fund. Kolb started his career at Credit Suisse Asset Management in 2005 as a fund manager.

Within the new fund, Kolb will invest at least two-thirds of its assets worldwide in equities of companies active in information technology, healthcare and industrials with a focus on automation, artificial intelligence and robotics related products and services. 

The strategy is registered for sale in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

This marks the latest in a series of robotics-focused fund launches, with rival Swiss group Pictet having unveiled a dedicated strategy towards the end of last year, while UK investment firm Sturgeon Ventures and adviser RoboCap teamed up aunched the RoboCap Ucits fund in January.

Trouver du rendement dans les robots
https://www.letemps.ch/economie/2016/05/01/trouver-rendement-robots
30/04/2016
Mathilde Farine
French

De plus en plus de spécialistes lancent des véhicules de placement pour profiter de l’automatisation, une tendance qui devrait durer et dont les perspectives de croissance apparaissent importantes

 

Imprimantes 3D, drones et robots en tout genre prennent une place toujours plus importante dans l’économie. Alors que les taux d’intérêt négatifs et des bourses en demi-teinte cette année réduisent les espoirs de rendement pour les investisseurs, certains cherchent d’autres pistes. Les robots en sont une.

Car c’est l’un des pans de l’économie dont la croissance est la plus prometteuse. Les études se multiplient pour faire état d’une croissance supérieure à 20% dans tous les segments. «Selon le Boston Consulting Group, ce marché va croître au moins à deux chiffres sur la prochaine décennie. «Cette prévision est même prudente, on peut imaginer que la croissance sera encore supérieure, car, en réalité, on ne peut anticiper tous les nouveaux services qui pourront être développés. Les nouvelles technologies, comme la révolution internet, ont amené beaucoup plus que ce que les experts imaginaient», estime Karen Kharmandarian, le gérant du fonds Pictet­Robotics chez Pictet Assez Management.

Jonathan Cohen a également lancé un fonds au début de cette année. Ce passionné de la robotique, qui a eu plusieurs drones et a créé le fonds RoboCap, spécialisé dans la robotique et l’automatisation, estime que la croissance de ce thème va être «exceptionnelle» ces prochaines années: «Pour les imprimantes 3D, même si on est encore aux débuts, la croissance des ventes est estimée entre 100 et 120% par an, selon un rapport de Gartner. En 2014, la vente de robots industriels était en hausse de 29%, selon la Fédération internationale de robotique.» Pour ce Suisse installé à Londres, ex de Goldman Sachs, s’il y a un tournant aujourd’hui, c’est notamment parce que les robots sont désormais capables de travailler avec les humains, et plus de manière séparée. Et ces «co­bots» (pour robots collaboratifs) ne doivent pas être programmés pendant des heures puisqu’ils sont capables d’apprendre par imitation. Enfin, souligne Jonathan Cohen, l’emballement pour le secteur n’a rien à voir avec la bulle internet: la grande majorité des entreprises actives dans la robotique sont rentables.

Nombreux avantages

Surtout, la tendance risque de durer: «L’automatisation est essentielle pour plusieurs raisons. Prenez le vieillissement démographique: comment voulez-vous combler le déséquilibre entre les populations active et inactive tout en gardant le même niveau de vie autrement qu’avec l’aide de robots?», soutient Karen Kharmandarian. Et ce n’est pas le seul domaine: «Beaucoup d’entreprises sont forcées d’automatiser une part toujours plus importante de leur production pour lutter contre les nouveaux arrivants sur leur marché, qui proposent des produits moins chers. Nike et Adidas, par exemple, rapatrient une partie de leur production pour être plus proches de leurs consommateurs, baisser les coûts de transport tout en offrant du sur-mesure en parallèle. En outre, les robots permettent une moins grande perte de matières premières dans le processus de fabrication.» Le spécialiste ajoute que si les robots se multiplient dans les usines, c’est aussi parce qu’ils coûtent moins cher: «En moyenne, ils deviennent rentables en six mois, alors que cela prenait plusieurs années avec des robots de l’ancienne génération. De plus, ils servent à une palette toujours plus large de secteurs, et pas seulement à l’automobile comme cela a été historiquement le cas.»

Pour ces deux pionniers – ils sont parmi les premiers à avoir lancé des fonds sur cette thématique –­, il y a de grandes chances que cette croissance se traduise par de solides performances boursières. Le premier à avoir senti une opportunité dans ce domaine est un fonds américain, basé au Texas, qui a lancé fin 2013 un ETF, le Robo­Stox Global Robotics & Automation ETF (ROBO ETF). Un véhicule, avec une formule américaine et une formule européenne, qui compte environ 80 titres dont une poignée de suisses (ABB, Kardex etc.). Depuis janvier, le véhicule européen a engrangé 1,5%. Sur l’ensemble de 2015, il a en revanche cédé 5,9%. On est encore loin des taux de progression de l’industrie elle-même. Jonathan Cohen tient à le souligner: beaucoup de véhicules de placement liés aux robots sont récents, mais les indices du thème montrent des performances largement supérieures aux indices de référence sur les dix dernières années. «Dans l’environnement actuel, avec des taux au plancher, c’est très important de trouver de la croissance.»

«Potentiel de croissance important»

Depuis le début de l’année, date à laquelle le fonds a été lancé, la hausse est de 5,43% (au 27 avril). Les titres de l’univers d’investissement comptent au moins 40% de leurs revenus liés à la robotique et plus de 85% en moyenne. Google, par exemple, n’y figure pas: la société investit beaucoup dans la robotique, mais elle en tire moins de 1% de ses revenus. Le prix de l’action ne dépend pas de cela.

Du côté de Pictet Asset Management, habituée à lancer des fonds thématiques, comme celui consacré à l’eau ou à la sécurité, des experts se sont penchés sur la robotique et ont créé une stratégie en octobre dernier, qui compte déjà plus de 1,1 milliard de dollars sous gestion. La performance est de 0,84% depuis le lancement. «Entre l’automatisation industrielle, l’intelligence artificielle, les robots pour la consommation, nous pensons que ce thème a un potentiel de croissance important à long terme», explique Karen Kharmandarian, le gérant de Pictet­Robotics. Une cinquantaine d’actions, dont les entreprises ont au moins 20% de leurs revenus venant de la robotique y sont intégrées. La moitié vient des États-Unis, un quart de l’Asie développée, et le quart restant d’Europe.

Parmi les entreprises citées par les experts, certains sont des grands de l’industrie, comme ABB ou Siemens, qui développent des robots ou des systèmes d’automatisation. Mais figurent aussi des plus petites entreprises. Jonathan Cohen cite par exemple Intuitive Surgical, une entreprise spécialisée dans la robotique dans la santé. Cotée aux États-Unis, elle fabrique des robots pour la chirurgie, dont le prototype avait été développé au Stanford Research Institute. «Beaucoup d’hôpitaux en ont un, précise le gérant. Le canton de Genève, par exemple, en compte six. Ils sont d’une très grande précision et permettent de réaliser de petites incisions mais permettant de faire passer des instruments.» Intuitive Surgical a l’avantage de ne pas dépendre d’une industrie cyclique comme beaucoup d’autres fabricants de robots qui écoulent leurs produits dans l’industrie automobile. Selon Jonathan Cohen, la croissance de ses ventes devrait atteindre 9 à 15% en 2016 avec des marges opérationnelles de 30 à 40%.

Boutique teams up with tech specialist for robotics fund
http://citywireselector.com/news/boutique-teams-up-with-tech-specialist-for-robotics-fund/a871569
05/01/2016
Luca Rossi
English

Investment management firm Sturgeon Ventures and adviser RoboCap have launched a ‘pure play’ robotics fund to benefit from the industrial revolution in automation technology.

The RoboCap Ucits fund will target fast-developing companies that are emerging in the robotics sector, from 3D printer manufacturers to high precision surgical robot makers.

The fund will target double-digit annual returns by investing in listed companies mainly in the US, Japan and Western Europe. It will also focus on 22-30 long positions with an average holding period of approximately 12 months.

The emphasis will be on pure play investments but companies benefiting from the theme will also be considered.

Commenting on the launch, RoboCap’s managing partner and manager of the RoboCap fund, Jonathan Cohen, said: ‘Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflection point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.’

‘The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders.’

According to the companies, robotics and automation stocks have performed three to six times better than general equity indices with over 17% internal rate of return over the last 10 years.

The fund, which is RoboCap’s first product, is being launched as a Ucits sub-fund of the ML Capital platform overseen by Sturgeon Ventures. Sturgeon will be the portfolio manager, while RoboCap will act as the adviser.

At the end of September, Pictet Asset Management announced it was about to launch a new fund to invest in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. This fund was formally launched in October.

The fund is being offered to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK, Europe and abroad.

Robo-funds: boutique londinese scommette sull’intelligenza artificiale
http://citywire.it/news/robo-funds-boutique-londinese-scommette-sull-intelligenza-artificiale/a871598
05/01/2016
Igor Pakovic
Italian

Il 2016, l'anno della robotica? È forse presto per dirlo, ma intanto, dopo Pictet, anche una boutique britannica ha lanciato un fondo che investe esclusivamente in intelligenza artificiale. Si tratta di Sturgeon Ventures che, insieme a RoboCap, adviser inglese specializzato in robotica, ha introdotto sul mercato il RoboCap Ucits Fund.

Il comparto, che sarà disponibile a investitori retail e istituzionali britannici ed europei, cavalca l’onda della tecnologia d’automazione: investirà infatti in compagnie americane, giapponesi ed europee nel settore della robotica, dalla stampa 3D alla chirurgia robotica e si focalizzerà su 22-30 posizioni con una durata media di 12 mesi.

Secondo quanto riportata da Sturgeon Ventures, si stima che il mercato della robotica e dell’automazione possa raggiungere oltre 10 trilioni di dollari entro il 2025.

Jonathan Cohen, già managing partner di RoboCap, sarà il portfolio manager che si occuperà della gestione del nuovo strumento: “La tecnologia sta migliorando giorno dopo giorno e quindi è arrivato il momento di investire.

Ma con i tassi d’interesse che crescono, ci sarà il bisogno di una consulenza specializzata che dia l’accesso ai futuri leader del settore. Il nostro obiettivo è diventare uno degli investitori leader in robotica”.

Ex-L&C man launches 'pure play' robotics fund
http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/news/ex-landc-man-launches-pure-play-robotics-fund/a871561/print?section=wealth-manager
06/01/2016
Selin Bucak
English

Sturgeon Ventures, a firm that dubs itself 'the most established FCA regulatory incubator', has partnered with specialist investment manager RoboCap to launch a robotics fund.

The two companies are seeking to benefit from what they describe as an 'industrial revolution' in automation technology. The RoboCap Ucits fund will invest in companies in the robotics sector, from 3D printer manufacturers to high precision surgical robot makers, mainly in the US, Japan and western Europe. It will target 22-30 long positions.

RoboCap's managing partner Jonathan Cohen will manage the fund. He was formerly a senior portfolio manager of the US team of London & Capital Asset Management and left the business to set up specialist asset manager RoboCap in August of last year. He will work together with senior investment analyst Heenal Patel, who joined the firm from UBS Asset Management.

The fund is targeting double-digit annual returns and has a minimum investment of £10,000 for retail investors.

It is RoboCap's first product and has been launched as a Ucits sub-fund of the ML Capital platform, overseen by Sturgeon Ventures.

Cohen commented: 'Robotics and automation are creating disruptive changes in every single industry. But we are now at an inflexion point because the cost and performance of robots and the average wages in manufacturing are now converging.

'The technology is improving daily so now is the time to invest yet there are few vehicles that enable investors to benefit from the sector. But as interest grows, there will be a need for specialist advisers giving access to future industry leaders.'

The fund will be available to high net worth investors, family offices and institutions in the UK, Europe and abroad.

RoboCap isn't the only asset manager eyeing investment opportunities in the robotics space. Back in September, Pictet Asset Management announced plans to launch a new fund that invests in robotics and artificial intelligence technologies.