A Robotics business Co-founded by Synapse’s CEO is raising cash with Ubreasonable Claims Regarding GM ties


A humanoid robotics startup, co-founded by the CEO of the bankrupt fintech firm Synapse, has been pitching Silicon Valley investors with claims of close ties and imminent investment from General Motors—claims that GM has firmly denied. The startup, Foundation Robotics Labs, is seeking the final $1 million to complete an $11 million seed round, as revealed by documents obtained by CNBC. The investor pitch asserted that GM had committed to an investment and that Menlo Park-based VC firm Tribe Capital was also onboard.

Foundation Robotics Labs stated, “We are building humanoid robots to take over tasks in factories, warehouses, and eventually homes.” The fundraising document also claimed that GM was set to be Foundation’s first customer with a targeted $300 million purchase order and had granted access to its factories for training robots.

“GM agreed to let us collect the ground truth data in their factories,” Foundation claimed in the document. “Our team is in their Mexico factory this week to start the collection process. We would probably be the only company in this space with a dataset like this.”

However, GM and one of Foundation’s founders have refuted most of these claims. While GM has met with Foundation executives a few times, it has not permitted any data collection from its factories, has no agreements for robot orders, and is not planning an investment, according to GM spokesperson Darryll Harrison.

“GM has never invested in Foundation Robotics and has no plans to do so,” Harrison said in an emailed statement. “In fact, GM has never had an agreement of any kind with the company. Any claims to the contrary are fabricated.”

In a phone interview with CNBC, Foundation co-founder Mike LeBlanc confirmed GM’s statements and expressed embarrassment over the exaggerated claims in their marketing materials.

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