Founded in 2018, Scythe Robotics is coming out of stealth today, announcing a $13.8 million Series A round. The round was led by Inspired Capital, along with True Ventures, Zigg Capital and Lemnos. That brings the Boulder, Colorado-based landscape robotics startup’s total funding to $18.6 million, including $4 million in seed funding, also led by True Ventures.
The startup’s first product is an autonomous lawnmower offered to customers through a robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model. This method is becoming increasingly popular in the corporate and industrial sector, essentially offering robotics to customers through a rental model that includes regular upgrades and maintenance. Interestingly, the company charges customers based on acres mowed.
The mower is equipped with eight HDR cameras and a host of sensors designed to help avoid people, animals and various obstacles it might encounter during operation. Naturally, all these sensors are also equipped with a multitude of data collection tools designed, among other things, to make the robot more efficient. Landscaping is a relatively unattractive subject for robotics. There is certainly a lot to be said for automating this process for those with large tracts of land. Toro, in particular, recently acquired Left Hand Robotics, and iRobot announced its own robotic lawnmower (postponed for now).
“Until now, commercial landscape contractors haven’t had a technology partner that allows them to keep up with demand and operate without emissions. We are that partner,” said co-founder and CEO Jack Morrison in a release. “Our stand-alone mower gives them the opportunity to grow their business while remaining environmentally friendly. It is designed from the ground up to be an order of magnitude more reliable, productive and safe than any existing machine by combining state-of-the-art autonomy with a rugged, all-electric design.”
Funding will go to increase staffing in the company’s Colorado, Texas and Florida offices, R&D to develop new products and introduce the mower to new customers.