Crime-Fighting Security Robots

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Company Information





San Jose, CA

Knightscope designs, builds, and deploys crime-fighting security robots that are fully autonomous.

These state-of-the-art machines are designed to augment security and law enforcement using the latest sensors and Artificial Intelligence software.

Knightscope is led by a strong, experienced team. CEO William Santana Li was a corporate executive at Ford (NYSE: F) and founded GreenLeaf, which became the world’s second largest automotive recycler before being acquired by LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ: LKQ).

Executive Vice President Stacy Stephens is a former Dallas-area law enforcement officer and was named to Government Technology Magazine’s list of “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” for his commitment to advancing law enforcement technology.

Founded in 2003, this company has achieved considerable progress:

• It’s raised more than $40 million from notable investors including Silicon Valley Bank, Bright Success Capital, and Konica Minolta.

• Been granted four patents on its technology.

• And deployed robots in 15 states across the U.S.

Now Knightscope is raising up to $50 million through a Regulation A+ offering, with plans to go public in the near future.

Security has become a $500 billion market. Yet according to Forbes, only 700,000 local, state, and federal police officers in the U.S. are responsible for protecting and serving 325 million Americans, in addition to countless homes, offices, and public places.

Knightscope’s security robot, called “K5,” supports these law enforcement officials through continuous monitoring.

Robert Krauss, Vice President of Public Safety at Pechanga Resort and Casino, one of Knightscope’s clients, told the San Diego Union Tribune, “Humans pick up only so much, and after a while, you might miss something. Robots don’t miss anything.”

Each robot is built using autonomous technology. Interestingly, more than $80 billion has been invested in self-driving autonomous technology. And more than 50 companies are actively working on products designed with these capabilities.

Yet according to its team, Knightscope is the only company that has successfully deployed this technology in the real world.

The company’s robots use five sets of sensors to orient themselves to the physical world.

A LiDAR sensor sits atop the device, while a total of 21 lasers inside the robots make detailed 3D maps of the physical environment every 20 milliseconds.

Ultrasonic sensors stop the robots from running into objects, while a GPS sensor uses information from satellites for directions. A complex wheel odometry calculates distance, and intertial measurement sensors, similar to those found in smartphones, keep the robots from falling over.

As Forbes described the machines, “The future of policing is five feet tall and weighs about 400 pounds.”

Knightscope sells its robots based on annual contracts that include the machine, routine maintenance, and software updates.

According to Forbes, each robot costs the company $62,000 to manufacture. And according to Knightscope’s financials, its contracts can generate up to $96,000 in revenue per year.

At these levels, the manufacturing costs of each robot are recovered in one year. And over a five-year period, the company estimates a $250,000 profit per robot.

Knightscope has security robots operating in 15 states and has more than ten Fortune 1000 companies as clients. Notable new clients include a second municipality, second casino, second hospital, and its first university and aerospace/defense contractor.

The robots have documented and verified reports of the following criminal activity: armed robbery, burglary, fire, fraud, hit & run, theft, trespassing, and vandalism.

Moving forward, the company will look to deploy its robots at schools, power plants, auto dealerships, ranches, and government facilities.

Future products include the K7 multi-terrain security robot, and a 4th-generation K5 robot. The company intends to ship both of these products in 2019.

Team Background

William Santana Li - Chairman & CEO

William is a seasoned entrepreneur with extensive experience in building machines.

Prior to starting the company, he was Chairman and CEO of Carbon Motors Corporation, an automotive company that developed the first purpose-built police car.

Before that, he was President and CEO of two manufacturing companies, Build-to-Order, Inc. and Model E Corporation.

William founded GreenLeaf, which became the second largest automotive recycling company in the U.S. The company reached $150 million in sales, and was acquired by LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ: LKQ).

Notably, he spent nine years with Ford (NYSE: F), serving as a body engineering supervisor, and later, Director of Mergers & Acquisitions.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and an MBA from the University of Detroit.

Mercedes Soria - Chief Intelligence Officer

Mercedes has more than 15 years of experience in fields including Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

She began her career with Gibson Musical Instruments, serving as a software developer and software development manager. From there, she spent five years as a senior software developer with Leadmark, a supplier relations management company.

For eight years, she worked for Deloitte, a professional services company, serving as a project manager and software development manager. Later in her career, she was an executive advisor for TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. State Department that mentors female entrepreneurs from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Mercedes has received the GHC 17 Leadership Award for Women in Technology, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2017 Woman of Influence Award.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University, and an MBA from Emory University.

Stacy Stephens - Chief Client Officer

Before his time with Knightscope, Stacy spent more than 10 years as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Carbon Motors Corporation, where he worked with CEO William Li.

Before that, he was a police officer with the Coppell Police Department in Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.

He was named to Government Technology Magazine’s list of “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” for his commitment to advancing law enforcement technology.

Stacy studied at Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Aaron Lehnhardt - Chief Design Officer

Aaron has 20+ years of experience in product and industrial design.

He previously owned Lehnhardt Creative, his own company focused on design, 3D modeling, and visualization for automotive projects.

For seven years, he was Chief Designer for Calmotors, a company designing 3D models of various projects including electric and hybrid vehicles.

Aaron spent six years as a senior designer with Ford, and taught 3D design as an instructor at the College for Creative Studies, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Design.

Marina Hardof - Chief Financial Officer

Marina has 15 years of financial leadership experience in both the public and private markets.

Before her time at Knightscope, she was Chief Financial Officer at Cloudmark, a computer software company that was acquired by Proofpoint (NASDAQ: PFPT), a cybersecurity company.

Prior to that, she was Director of Finance for Openwave Systems, a software company acquired by a private equity firm in 2012.

For six years, Marina was a senior manager at Ernst & Young, a professional services company. She also spent a year as an auditor for Shimon Dill & Co., a public accounting business.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MBA from University of California, Berkeley.


Bright Success Capital

A VC firm that invests in innovative seed- and growth-stage tech companies focused on software, robotics, AI, and security.

Konica Minolta

A Japanese technology company that manufactures products ranging from business solutions to healthcare systems.

Silicon Valley Bank

Financial company working with venture capital, private equity, and technology-related businesses. Prior investments include Square, Lending Club, and Jet.

$50 million
$7.05 million (14%)
Current Valuation
$310 million
Min. Investment
Deal Type
Title IV
(For all investors)
Offering Type
Finance History
  • $3.50 million
    Silicon Valley Bank
  • $26 million
    Konica Minolta
    (Equity Crowdfunding)
  • $9.40 million
    (Series B)
  • $1.30 million
Notable Investors
  • Bright Success Capital
  • Konica Minolta
  • Silicon Valley Bank
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