Rockwell Automation completes acquisition of Clearpath Robotics and its OTTO Motors division

Reportedly topping $600 million USD, the deal will keep the autonomous robotics startup in the Waterloo Region.

Milwaukee, Wis.-based Rockwell Automation has completed its acquisition of Kitchener-based robotics development company Clearpath Robotics, including its industrial division, OTTO Motors.

The acquisition, originally announced Sept. 5, officially closed on Monday. While no terms were disclosed, The Globe and Mail reported that Rockwell would pay between $550 million and $600 million USD upfront, with the possibility of exceeding $600 million USD if Clearpath met certain performance targets.

OTTO Motors will be featured at Rockwell’s Automation Fair in Boston.

The acquisition includes Clearpath Robotics’ namesake research division, and the industrial division OTTO Motors, which provides warehouse-focused autonomous mobile robotics (AMR). Both divisions will report to Rockwell’s intelligent devices operating segment.

“This acquisition marks a turning point for our customers around the world,” said Blake Moret, chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, in a statement. “Rockwell is simplifying and transforming the difficult yet critical function of material handling throughout the manufacturing plant with an end-to-end production logistics solution.”

An article published by Communitech noted that Clearpath would be staying in Kitchener-Waterloo and that its CEO, CTO, president, and employees would be sticking around following the acquisition.

“I look forward to creating safer, more productive and more fulfilling workplaces for customers around the world alongside Blake Moret and his incredible team,” Clearpath CEO Matt Rendall said on his LinkedIn Tuesday. “The future is bright (and autonomous)!”

Rockwell said the money raised from its financial exit from software firm PTC in August, which generated an estimated $822 million USD from the sale of its shares, funded its acquisition of Clearpath.

Founded in 2009 by a quartet of graduates from University of Waterloo’s mechatronics engineering program, Clearpath Robotics’ mission statement was to automate “the world’s dullest, dirtiest, and deadliest jobs.”

Clearpath followed its $14-million CAD Series A in March 2015, led by RRE Ventures alongside participation from iNovia Capital, with the launch of OTTO in September 2015.

RELATED: Rockwell Automation signs agreement to acquire Waterloo-based Clearpath Robotics

Prior to the acquisition, Clearpath has been on a steady upward trajectory, securing a $39-million Series B in 2016 and a $45-million Series C in 2020. In 2022, KW-based tech hub Communitech added Clearpath to its list of privately-held Canadian tech firms on pace to hit $1 billion in annual revenue.

According to The Globe and Mail’s report at the time of the acquisition announcement, Clearpath was generating revenue at an annualized rate of $50-million to $75-million USD, based on the rapid growth of its OTTO division.

Rockwell is already prepared to show off its new division, with OTTO Motors to be featured at Rockwell’s Automation Fair in Boston. Rockwell says customers will see the impact that AMRs will have on productivity and safety across operations first-hand.

Image courtesy of Clearpath Robotics

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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