Gecko Robotics raises $40M for scaling industrial inspection robots

The Robot Report

PITTSBURGH — Gecko Robotics today announced that it has raised Series B funding of $40 million. The company has been developing wall-climbing robots for automated infrastructure inspection.

Each year, businesses spend more than $500 billion on industrial maintenance and replacement, said Gecko Robotics. These inspections are typically conducted by humans, sometimes resulting in injury and death.

“We are growing fast, solving a critical infrastructure problems that affect our lives, and can even save lives,” stated Jake Loosararian, Gecko Robotics’ 28-year-old co-founder and CEO. “At our core, we are a robot-enabled software company that helps stop life-threatening catastrophes. We’ve developed a revolutionary way to use robots as an enabler to capture data for predictability of infrastructure — reducing failure, explosions, emissions, and billions of dollars of loss each year.”

Gecko said its robots use acoustic, laser, electromagnetic, and other non-destructive testing modules. The company added that its software takes the large amounts of data gathered by these sensors to help predict when and where infrastructure failures will occur.

The robots can crawl up tanks, boilers, scrubbers, and piping in the power, oil and gas, and pulp and paper industries.

Gecko Robotics raises $40M for industrial inspection robots

Gecko has developed wall-climbing robots and software for infrastructure inspection. Source: Gecko Robotics

Gecko Robotics grows

Gecko Robotics began developing its technology in 2016, and it has offices in Houston and Austin, Texas, and in Europe. The company said it plans to use its latest funding to scale up its business operations. The company has grown from 45 to 115 employees in the past 12 months, and it is hiring software and product engineers, as well as sales managers.

The Series B round was led by Drive Capital, with participation from previous investors including Founders Fund, Next47, and Y-Combinator. Gecko had raised $7 million in August 2018 and $9.12 million in April 2019.

“We are very excited for the future of robotics in industrial inspection,” said Mark Kvamme, lead investor and partner at Drive Capital. “The Gecko Robotics team [is] revolutionizing an industry that is in need of a real upgrade and will save lives. I see amazing potential for Gecko’s business model; they are on the path to become a market leader in their industry.”

According to Gecko Robotics, infrastructure inspection has been slow to automate, but several companies have been developing hardware and software for that purpose, including ANYbotics, Boston Dynamics, GE Inspection Robotics, and SiteAware, among others.

Notable angel investors in Gecko’s latest round of funding include the Mark Cuban; Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank; Josh Reeves, CEO of Gusto; and Jake Seid, managing director at Stone Bridge Ventures.

Previous investors include Justin Kan, founder and CEO of Atrium and Twitch; Gokul Rajaram of Doordash; and Paul Buchheit, co-creator of Gmail and a partner at Y-Combinator.

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Source: therobotreport

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