Add Soft Robotics to the long list of automation companies that have seen a boost in investment interest amid the pandemic. The New England-based firm announced this morning a $10 million raise that serves as an extension of the $23 million Series B it announced in January of last year.

The extension was led by Material Impact, Scale Venture Partners and Calibrate Ventures and featured existing investors Tekfen Ventures and industrial robotics giant ABB. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to around $58 million.

Founded in 2013, the company takes a novel approach to picking machines, with a soft, pneumatic-powered gripper that’s ideal for fragile food stuffs that might otherwise be damaged by rigid robotics. Food, of course, has been a prime target for interest in automation during the pandemic, due to labor shortages and fears of disease transmission.

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