A Houston robotics startup working in commercial construction has closed its latest round of funding.
Rugged Robotics Inc. announced last week that it had raised $9.4 million in its Series A led by BOLD Capital Partners and Brick & Mortar Ventures. Riot Ventures, Morpheus and Embark — all investors in the company’s 2019 round — also contributed, as did Consigli Construction Company and Suffolk Technologies. To date, Rugged Robotics has raised $12 million.
“We are thrilled to be part of the Rugged team,” Maxx Bricklin, partner at BOLD Capital, said in a press release. “We reviewed a number of companies in the space and became confident that Rugged’s team, technology and partner ecosystem would allow Rugged to dominate and capitalize on this significant and disruptive market opportunity. “
The new capital, which the company shares in the release, will go towards scaling operations, expanding offerings and continuing research and development.
Founded in 2018 by construction industry veteran Derrick Morse and former NASA engineer Logan Farrell, Rugged Robotics’ Mark 1 product is modernizing the construction industry. The robot tackles layout challenges in the field with a “layout roomba” that marks architectural and engineering designs directly on unfinished concrete floors. The company’s first clients are Consigli Construction Co, Suffolk Construction and Brasfield & Gorrie.
“When Derrick and Logan first visited our offices, they clearly understood the issues we face and immediately separated themselves from typical tech startups. Their focus on solving real-world problems resonates with us, and we jumped at the chance to engage with them,” says Mike Haseltine, Vice President and COO of Consigli. “Seeing their robots, their layouts and their impact is inspiring. They’ve built something that will change the way which we construct buildings.
While the concept of an autonomous layout solution is not new, Rugged Robotics’ approach is different from the industry standard in that it features an autonomous system that “allows multi -mobiles, unique configurations that cover an entire floor and print areas that extend around and behind obstacles such as columns, stairs and elevators,” according to the press release. its customers the technology in the form of a layout model as a service.
“We build better,” Morse, who is CEO, said in the release. “We set out to modernize the construction industry and create practical solutions that solve the problems contractors face every day. We believe layout is the ideal starting point. Layout is the bridgehead of construction automation. It sits at the intersection of the digital and physical world, solves a huge problem, and unlocks the ability to deploy robotics on job sites in very meaningful ways.
The company is expanding its team, which has included the integration of Mason Markee, the former director of mechanical engineering at Auris Health, who joined Rugged Robotics as vice president of engineering. Prior to Auris, Markee spent eight years at NASA as a robotics engineer.
“Mason has 15 years of robotics experience,” Farrell, the company’s chief technical officer, said in the release. “I knew him at NASA, and we’re thrilled to have him on board Rugged. He brings great experience to the table. He knows the entire product lifecycle from concept generation to production. He has seen it grow and we are excited about the rapid growth that his technical expertise and leadership experience are enabling.
The company has five engineering positions listed on LinkedIn.