Spanish robot developer wins €2m seed investment

Scaled Robotics, the Barcelona-based start-up which is currently trialling a new robot with Kier, has announced a major investment to take it to the next level of development.

Norwegian Construct Venture and German proptech fund Surplus Invest have led the €2m (£1.7m) investment. 

Scaled Robotics has developed a robot that builds detailed 3D maps of construction sites using its multimodal sensors suite, and software that can accurately compare this data to the digital plans defined in the BIM models. This allows it to detect errors and deviations which enables construction companies to identify potential sources of construction delays early in the process and put countermeasures in place. This results in massively reduced construction times and significant cost savings. 

The advanced technology, the positive customer feedback and highly competent founders in Stuart Maggs and Bharath Sankaran, convinced Construct Venture and Surplus. They join PERI, the world’s largest producer of formwork and scaffolding systems, in backing Scaled Robotics in a pre-seed round.  

Scaled Robotics is an outstanding deep tech company driven by passion and expertise. We are fully convinced that the team around Stuart Maggs and Bharath Sankaran will disrupt the construction sector with its solution.– Jannis Roser, Surplus Invest

“Scaled Robotics increases the efficiency of collecting and compiling data, freeing up time that could potentially have been spent on work due to errors that need to be corrected or redone. The investment is Construct Ventures’ fourth so far, and the first one made in a foreign company,” said Jan Fossgård, managing director of Construct Ventures. 

Kier is one of three international contractors trialling new robotic technology designed to automate onsite progress tracking and check for health and safety hazards. 

The four-wheeled robot is fitted with a range of sensors that enable it to manoeuvre autonomously around a building site and capture detailed 3D survey scans and panoramic photos of ongoing construction.

Online software then compares the 3D as-built survey information against the original BIM model to automatically identify any discrepancies or deviations from the design to help contractors keep tabs on quality and progress.

Kier piloted the system on the £22m Harris Academy scheme in Bromley, Greater London, and another project in Cambridge. Other trials are underway with the civil engineering and construction firms AF Gruppen, in Norway and Dura Vermeer, in the Netherlands.

Jannis Roser, managing partner of Surplus Invest, said: “Scaled Robotics is an outstanding deep tech company driven by passion and expertise. We are fully convinced that the team around Stuart Maggs and Bharath Sankaran will disrupt the construction sector with its solution.”

Scaled Robotics recently convinced a jury of international investors and start-up experts at the Disrupt Berlin 2019 event winning first place in the Start-up Battlefield in competition with 14 other start-ups.  

Stuart Maggs said: “The tools being developed by Scaled Robotics not only provide a detailed analysis of the state of a construction project but also provide a centralised repository for all information relating to project quality and progress. We envision that our products will allow this global $13trn industry, manage risk and uncertainty in ways that were previously impossible.

“We are very pleased to have Surplus Invest and Construct Venture on the team, both investors who share our vision of changing the industry through a combination of robotics and artificial intelligence.”

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