Dusty Robotics, developer of robot-powered tools for the modern construction workforce, today announced that it has closed a $16.5 million Series A round led by Canaan Partners and joined by returning investors NextGen Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Root Ventures, and Cantos Ventures. The financing brings Dusty’s total funding to date to $23.7 million.
Founded in 2018 by seasoned robotics entrepreneurs Tessa Lau and Philipp Herget, Dusty’s robot-powered tools accelerate the digital transformation of the construction industry. Dusty’s first product is FieldPrinter, an autonomous robot that prints digital building models directly onto the floor of construction sites. FieldPrinter lays out floor plans up to 10x faster than traditional crews while guaranteeing accuracy up to 1/16 of an inch. FieldPrinter eliminates errors during construction by printing “IKEA instructions” directly on the floor that instruct crews exactly what to build where.
“The construction industry is in the midst of a digital transformation. Most projects have adopted Building Information Modeling (BIM) to design buildings in full 3D, yet layout crews still use paper plans, measuring tape, and string to transfer those designs to the site for construction,” said Tessa Lau, founder and CEO of Dusty. “We are creating a future where robots are standard tools used to construct every building, turning BIM into reality, and eliminating the errors that create waste.”
The global construction industry is estimated to be worth $12 trillion in 2021, according to Research and Markets, growing 9% over the pandemic year of 2020, and by 2025, will generate nearly $17 trillion. And, yet, the construction industry is one of the most fragmented and least digitized, with each project relying on a complex web of skilled subcontractors to complete individual components of the project. The result is two-thirds of large projects finish behind schedule and half go over budget, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. FieldPrinter digitizes layout, one of the most manual processes on the job site. By eliminating layout delays, errors, and rework, FieldPrinter helps crews keep projects on time and on budget.
“With increasing digital adoption in the full commercial real estate lifecycle, and especially the value created by using technology such as digital twins in the design and construction process, we believe now is the time for Dusty. These technologies have enabled construction to be more precise than ever before, and have opened the door to completely re-imagining the complex and time- and labor-intensive layout process,” said Rich Boyle, general partner at Canaan. “The robotic layout process that Dusty created enables developers to be dramatically more efficient by reducing manual labor and elapsed time, and even more importantly by reducing errors and rework in the construction process. Both are reasons we believe Dusty has a big future and are thrilled to be leading its Series A.”
FieldPrinter has been eagerly adopted by builders, particularly general and specialty contractors that have made significant investments in BIM. Some of Dusty’s early customers include Swinerton, DPR Construction, Build Group, and Pankow Builders. Since its first rollout in the fall of 2020, Dusty’s FieldPrinter has laid out more than one million square feet of commercial construction, including several high-rise buildings in San Francisco.
“Through a R&D partnership with Dusty, we have successfully used FieldPrinter on building projects in Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and Leesburg, Virginia and are excited about the possibilities of deploying FieldPrinter more widely,” said Bardo Ponce, operations manager at Swinerton, a commercial construction company active in the office, retail, multi-family residential, hospitality, healthcare, education, energy, and entertainment sectors. “Every project we bring Dusty to is seeing great strides in productivity and we look forward to every iteration of this robot and the positive impact it will have on our industry.”
About Dusty Robotics
Founded in 2018, Dusty Robotics develops robot-powered tools for the modern construction workforce, accelerating the digital transformation of the construction industry by extending digitization out to the job site. Dusty’s advanced construction automation tools synchronize Building Information Modeling (BIM) models with the field, eliminating manual steps and ensuring quality and accuracy. Dusty’s flagship product is FieldPrinter, an autonomous mobile robot that works with existing BIM designs to print plans directly onto construction-site floors. Founded by serial entrepreneurs and roboticists who have built several successful robotics companies, Dusty is backed by leading venture capital firms Canaan Partners, NextGen Venture Partners, Baseline Ventures, Root Ventures, and Cantos Ventures. For more information, please visit https://www.dustyrobotics.com.
About Canaan Partners
Canaan is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. With $5 billion under management, a diversified fund, and hundreds of exits to date, we partner with entrepreneurs building the next generation of technology and healthcare companies that will transform how we live, work, and thrive. To learn more about our people and our portfolio, please visit https://www.canaan.com.