Boulder-based BB-8 maker Sphero splits into two companies

 BOULDER – Sphero Inc., maker of the acclaimed toy robot BB-8, announced Tuesday that it has completed the spin-off of its advanced robotics division into Misty Robotics Inc., which will build personal robots for the home and office.
The new company received $11.5 million in Series A funding from Venrock, Foundry Group and others.
Tim Enwall will be the company’s chief executive. Enwall founded and led three previous startups: Solista, which was sold to Gartner in 2001; Tendril Networks; Revolv, which was sold to Nest, a unit of Alphabet, in 2014.
Ian Bernstein, former Sphero co-founder and chief technology officer, will take the role of head of of product and will be joined by five robotics division team members. Misty Robotics will use the new capital to build out the team and accelerate product development.
“Coming on the heels of two very important Sphero product announcements, we are as confident as ever that our company’s focus should be on connected play experiences,” said Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero. “At the same time, we see tremendous opportunity for the personal robot market, and the creation of Misty Robotics will allow the new company, with Ian’s product leadership and Tim Enwall’s executive experience, to focus on these efforts.”
Misty Robotics’ vision is to put a personal robot in every home and office. These robots will perform helpful tasks and interact with humans in entertaining and friendly ways that have only been seen before in science fiction, the company said in a statement.
“Soon robots will be a constant touchpoint throughout our lives, becoming commonplace and serving a variety of purposes that are very different than what exists today. We have a rough idea as to what this will look like from science fiction and glimpses of brilliance that have happened in this space,” Bernstein said. “My vision is for Misty Robotics to lead this charge toward delivering the future we were all promised. We’ve already started to build an amazingly passionate team of roboticists and are looking for more talent to help us build the future.”
“This is an incredible team with an impeccable pedigree of building great businesses and shipping awesome products,” said David Pakman, a partner at Venrock. “When we make an investment, we always ask ourselves ‘if it goes right, how big could this be?’ and in this case it doesn’t get any bigger than a robot in every home and office. We believe the core technologies necessary to deliver on this big dream are finally within our grasp.”
Sphero and Misty Robotics will have a close partnership and have signed co-marketing and co-development agreements. Berberian  will join Misty’s board of directors along with Pakman and Brad Feld, managing drector at Foundry Group.

 BOULDER – Sphero Inc., maker of the acclaimed toy robot BB-8, announced Tuesday that it has completed the spin-off of its advanced robotics division into Misty Robotics Inc., which will build personal robots for the home and office.
The new company received $11.5 million in Series A funding from Venrock, Foundry Group and others.
Tim Enwall will be the company’s chief executive. Enwall founded and led three previous startups: Solista, which was sold to Gartner in 2001; Tendril Networks; Revolv, which was sold to Nest, a unit of Alphabet, in 2014.
Ian Bernstein, former Sphero co-founder and chief technology officer, will take the role of head of of product and will be joined by five robotics division team members. Misty Robotics will use the new capital to build out the team and accelerate product development.
“Coming on the heels of two very important Sphero product announcements, we are as confident as ever that our company’s focus should be on connected play experiences,” said Paul Berberian, CEO of Sphero. “At the same time, we see tremendous opportunity for the personal robot market, and the creation of Misty Robotics will allow the new company, with Ian’s product leadership and Tim Enwall’s executive experience, to focus on these efforts.”
Misty Robotics’ vision is to put a personal robot in every home and office. These robots will perform helpful tasks and interact with humans in entertaining and friendly ways that have only been seen before in science fiction, the company said in a statement.
“Soon robots will be a constant…