Startups
Chips / Retail / Robotics / Venture capital

Pittsburgh Money Moves: US Steel invests in robotics startup, local chipmaker gets Silicon Valley infusion

Plus, a company that reduces loss in returned retail goods — by removing “human error” — raised seed funding from Dell.

A rendering showing Freespace warehouse automation technology at work (Courtesy Freespace Robotics)
Money Moves is a column where we chart the raises, mergers and other funding news of tech companies across the region on the third Wednesday of the month. Have a tip? Email us at pittsburgh@technical.ly.

Another month, another startup in need of capital to bring in new talent and further develop its technology.

If you’re not up to date on which companies have gotten an infusion of capital, we gotchu. Check out some of the region’s biggest March money moves below.

U.S. Steel invests in Freespace Robotics

Freespace Robotics, a Pittsburgh-based robotic storage and retrieval systems manufacturer, received an investment for an undisclosed amount from U.S. Steel.

The 2022-founded company will use the funding to hire staff from both inside and outside of the region, per an announcement, and to establish a greater manufacturing presence in Pittsburgh, with several pilot program launches planned.

Both companies feel the investment will be mutually beneficial, for the region and their own futures.

“This region has a long history of industrial innovation through advances in hardware and large-scale equipment,” said Freespace Robotics CEO Robert J. Szczerba. “U.S. Steel knows first-hand the importance of creating an innovation pipeline for themselves and the additional value of doing so in its hometown with hometown talent.”

G2 Reverse Logistics raises $9.6M

G2 Reverse Logistics, a profit recovery company, secured a $9.6 million seed funding raise in a round led by Dell Technologies Capital.

Founded in 2020, the startup uses machine learning to optimize the retail goods return process. It plans to use the funding to accelerate sales and marketing with the goal of global growth. What makes the company stand out, according to the company’s leadership, is that its platform eliminates human error in returns.

“G2RL tackles the costly issue of return rates head-on; our innovation goes beyond just reverse logistics management. We enable intelligent, data-driven and agile optimization,” CEO Tom Perry said. “Our proprietary technology offers unmatched end-to-end net recovery in ways that challenge previous norms.”

Efficient Computer raises $16M

Efficient Computer, a Pittsburgh-based chip developer, raised $16 million in a funding round led by Eclipse, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.

Founded in 2022, Efficient Computer developed a processor architecture that the company’s leadership believes is more energy-efficient than current technology currently used. It plans to use the funding to further research and development, as well as begin selling chips to customers.

“This new architecture allows us to target software in a more efficient way,” CEO Brandon Lucia told Reuters. “It’s a more efficient way of executing programs.”

Other Money Moves

  • PittMoss, a company that produces a peat moss alternative that is made from recycled paper, raised $1.9 million, per an SEC filing.
  • Diamond Kinetics, a sports technology company, secured a $6.9 million raise, according to an SEC filing.
Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: U.S. Steel / Diamond Kinetics
Series: Money Moves
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