Proving again that tech executives can always fail upwards, the CEO that ran self-driving car company Cruise into a ditch, Kyle Vogt, has just been handed $150 million for his new venture called the Bot Company that claims it will eventually develop robots to do household chores.

Objectively speaking, the tenure of now-resigned Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt was not a successful one. While Cruise was bolstered by $12 billion in venture capital funding, fawning media coverage, and a $1 billion acquisition by General Motors, Vogt’s leadership left Cruise currently suspended from operations, laying off nearly 1,000 employees, and hemorrhaging billions of dollars.

But just like the architect of WeWork’s $47 billion flameout Adam Neumann, Vogt is now being gladly handed $150 million to launch a new company. The SF Business Times reports that Vogt has just founded a new robot-oriented startup called the Bot Company, which he claims is “building bots that do chores so you don't have to.”

Admittedly, the Adam Neumann/WeWork comparison may be unfair. Vogt also co-founded Justin.TV which became Twitch, and was sold to Amazon for $970 million. He also co-founded something called SocialCam, which was not a household name, but Autodesk bought it for $60 million before it too crashed and burned. (Vogt was also on BattleBots as a teenager.) So maybe he has another trick up his sleeve.

“So many things compete for our time — commutes, longer working hours, and the complexities of modern life,” Vogt said on Twitter Monday. “Our team has spent years building robots (including the self-driving kind) that give people some of that time back, and we're taking that a step further with this company.”


Though it appears there is currently little more than vapor to this Bot Company. The company homepage (seen above) basically just says “We’re building robots that give you time back. Everyone is busy. Bots can help.” There are no products listed. There is no evidence that the company has existed for more than a month or so.  

Yet lordy, have they been handed a great deal of money. According to the Business Times and Vogt’s tweet, their $150 million in investments comes from Spark Capital, one-time Y Combinator partner Daniel Gross, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, and Stripe CEO Patrick Collison.

And Forbes reports the company is now valued at $550 million. How on earth a company gets a $550 million valuation with zero products is beyond me. But it may just be the name recognition factor of other high-profile tech bros, namely ex-Tesla head of planning Paril Jain, ex-Cruise engineer Luke Holoubek, and a small team of no women whatsoever.

Related: Cruise CEO Says SF ‘Should Be Rolling Out the Red Carpet’ for Robotaxis in TechCrunch Disrupt Interview [SFNews]

Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Cruise Founder & CEO Kyle Vogt speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 at Moscone Center on September 20, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch)