Munich based KEWAZO has raised a further $5 million in investment from a leading investor in Silicon ValleyKewazo has today announced that venture capitalists True Ventures have become investors in the business to help scale its robotic fleet of ‘Liftbot’ into the $50 billion scaffolding industry.
Existing investor MIG AG, a Munich-based venture capital firm and one of the founding investors in BioNTech, also participated in the round.
New investors True Ventures provides seed and Series A financing to entrepreneurs in today’s fastest-growing markets. True Ventures has helped more than 300 companies launch and scale their businesses, creating more than 25,000 jobs worldwide.
Kewazo’s scaffolding robot ‘Liftbot’ has now raised a cool $9 million in total following a series of funding rounds since 2018 when its robotic material hoist was just a prototype.
Initially, Kewazo is focused on scaffolding assembly — a $50 billion industry. During the building or dismantling of scaffolding, more than 80 percent of projects are still done completely manually.
‘Liftbot’ makes assembly more efficient by automating manual material transport. Using the robot saves up to 44 percent of man-hours, which directly addresses the labour shortage, a long-term problem in the industry, says Kewazo.
The robot reduces the risk of accidents and improves working conditions on-site. With minor adjustments, the technology can be applied to additional tasks such as insulation, painting and other on-site material transport.
Liftbot also collects operational data and provides it to customers in the form of a data analytics platform. Those insights aid planning and improve profitability, and customers benefit from faster, more predictable projects.
Scaffmag understands that a number of UK scaffolding contractors are currently piloting liftbot on some high-profile projects.
Artem Kuchukov, CEO of Kewazo told us: “We’re excited to have found a partner in True Ventures that understands our vision of bringing robotic technology to the construction industry.”
“With the new investment, we aim to expand our robotic fleet in Europe and the U.S., to introduce the RaaS model, and to enable further digital services. LIFTBOT improves worker safety, makes jobs more efficient, and drastically cuts the amount of man-hours projects take, all while saving money.”
“Since our Seed-Investment in 2018, Kewazo has come a long way from prototype to the marketable and robust LIFTBOT system. Having True Ventures now leading the Series A round takes the company to the next level and we are proud to further support Kewazo’s international development”, states Matthias Guth, MIG Venture Partner and Kewazo Board member.
The first batch of ‘Liftbots’ has been successfully delivered to key customers in the EU markets. Prospective projects worldwide include scaffolding assembly at greenfield projects and maintenance jobs at construction sites, oil and gas refineries, power plants, and shipbuilding yards.
Kewazo has completed more than 40 pilot and test projects, and has delivered robots to major customers like Bilfinger, a leading European industrial service provider, on oil and gas sites in Germany.
“We have tested Liftbot during ongoing operations and immediately recognized the potential of the solution,” said Alexander Brod, branch manager of Bilfinger Arnholdt in Gelsenkirchen. “With innovative technologies from the fields of robotics and automation, we offer our industrial customers an even safer and more efficient service.”
“So many aspects of the construction industry stand to benefit immensely from robotic intelligence and RaaS offerings,” said Puneet Agarwal, partner at True Ventures. “The Kewazo team has a strong track record and proven solution that addresses a significant need in a critical part of the industry. We’re excited to fund this team and help them expand to new verticals in construction and other markets.”
By Daniel Norton