Another sizeable funding round for Dusty Robotics this month. The Bay Area firm announced a $45 million Series B. The round, led by Scale Venture Partners, is a quick follow-up to last June’s $16.5 million Series A, bringing its total funding up to around $69 million, and valuing it at $250 million.
Robotics startups have largely managed to weather the slowdown in venture funding, owing in part to pandemic-fueled interest in the category. Dusty operates in the construction space, specifically, which has been an area of increased focus for automation proponents. After all, even if the economy slows down, buildings still need to go up.
We’ve highlighted the company’s primary robot — the FieldPrinter — a few times over the years. The short version is that the little Roomba-style ‘bot is designed to replace the chalk lines that construction workers manually draw to designate layout in a construction site.
FieldPrinter utilizes digital plans, which it prints directly onto the ground of the site, for a more accurate layout. Dusty says its tech is capable of reducing construction time and costly errors introduced into the process through manual transcription.
“With so little automation in the industry, it’s no wonder that 85% of projects finish over budget, contributing directly to the housing crisis,” founder and CEO Tessa Lau says in a release tied to the news. “Our robot-powered solutions automate construction’s manual workflows, increasing productivity across the industry while also creating better working conditions for skilled craftspeople.”
The system has already seen swift adoption in the U.S. The firm claims the robot laid out 25 million square feet in the first quarter alone, through deals with construction firms like DPR, Swinerton, PARIC, Performance Contracting Inc. and Southland Industries.
Along with the new round, FieldPrinter just hit its 1.0 release, making it ready for wider adoption. The release includes QR code printing, automated obstacle avoidance and real-time progress updates while printing.