Built Robotics Scores $33M for Autonomous Construction Equipment

Image: Built Robotics

September 19, 2019      

SAN FRANCISCO – Built Robotics today announced closing a $33 million Series B funding round, led by Next47, the global venture fund backed by Siemens. In addition to the funding, T.J. Rylander, partner at Next47, will join the company’s board of directors. Additional investors include Building Ventures, along with current investors Founders Fund, NEA, Lemnos, and Presidio Ventures.

The company transforms construction equipment – including excavators, bulldozers and skid steers – into fully autonomous robots. The company’s automated guidance systems can be installed on existing equipment from any manufacturer, while maintaining complete manual operation capabilities, Built Robotics said. The upgraded equipment can then perform common tasks autonomously, such as digging trenches, excavating foundations, and grading building pads. The fleet can be managed via a web-based platform, which lets remote equipment operators to supervise the robots.

The guidance system combines sensors such as GPS, cameras, and LiDAR with advanced software. It is aimed to address the $1 trillion earth-moving industry.

The company said it will use the additional funding to scale its fleet of autonomous robots, expand into new construction verticals, and develop tools to support the next generation of equipment operators.

Built Robotics

Built Robotics can convert existing bulldozers and excavators into autonomous equipment. (PRNewsfoto/Built Robotics)

“We’re excited to be partnering with Built Robotics on this significant milestone,” said Rylander. “They have proven market appetite and demand for the technology and have deployed working robots with leading construction companies around the country. We believe Built is poised to lead this market and catalyze deployment of this technology across construction applications.”

The company said the funding comes on the heels of it signing more than $100 million in customer commitments. Built’s current fleet of robots has excavated 100,000 tons of materials on projects such as wind farms, housing developments, and utility solar installations. Equipment upgraded by the company has operated for more than 7,500 hours, “with a perfect safety record,” the equivalent of 350,000 miles driven for self-driving cars.

“The shortage of qualified labor is an industry-wide challenge right now, and finding skilled workers is even more difficult on large-scale remote infrastructure projects,” said Noah Ready-Campbell, CEO of Built Robotics. “Our robotic equipment is able to shoulder some of the load by assisting with basic, repetitive tasks, freeing up human operators to focus on more complex activities.”

The global construction robot market is expected to be $190 million by the end of 2025, according to a report by Infoholic Research. Robots in the space include 3D printing robots, demolition robots, bricklaying robots, and autonomous construction vehicles and equipment.