Infrastructure is broken, Gecko is using robotics to help fix it

Gecko Robotics’ mission statement is “To protect today’s critical infrastructure, and give form to tomorrow’s.” It’s certainly the sort of thing that rings true in the startup’s home town of Pittsburgh, where the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed under the weight of five vehicles in late-January, the day President Biden was visiting to talk infrastructure.

Gecko’s combination of robotics and software solutions is designed to discover cracks and other problem areas before they become much bigger problems. Specifically, the company’s tech is designed to inspect industrial manufacturing structures for things like oil and gas, power, manufacturing and defense. That includes everything from pipelines to ships and tanks.

This week, it announced a $73 million raise designed to accelerate its technology development and deployment. The round was led by XN LP and features Founders Fund, Drive Capital, Snowpoint Ventures, Joe Lonsdale, Mark Cuban and Gokul Rajaram. It brings the company’s total funding to around $122 million, following a $40 million round, back in 2019.

“Gecko’s unique combination of robotics, software, and AI radically improves the ability to inspect, protect, and efficiently maintain critical infrastructure,” says XN partner, Tim Brown, in a release. “We are excited to partner with Jake and Troy as they extend Gecko’s powerful technology into new geographies and industries, helping customers collect and make sense of physical data to optimize the safety and performance of their assets.”

The tech certainly ticks off the dirty and dangerous boxes of automation. It’s designed to scale structures in extremely demanding and difficult settings. The robots spot damage that is often too subtle to be viewed with the human eye, and Gecko’s software helps determine potential problem areas.