With its largest investment thus far, OneTen Capital will partner with the Construction Robotics team to help them continue to create innovative robotic solutions to problems in the construction industry.
The company’s first system – coined SAM (Semi-Autonomous Masonry system) utilizes existing scaffolding and bricklaying workflow to precisely place exterior bricks.
“With mason worker counts down by 50 percent over the past 20 years, we saw that there was a very real problem and that a robotic helper could make all the difference,” says Nate Podkaminer, chairman and co-founder.
Construction Robotics’ technology not only solves the labor problem, but also improves the health and well-being of the nearly 5.5 million production workers currently employed in the domestic sector alone. Heavy lifting poses serious ergonomic challenges to lifelong construction work—masons lay about 100 50-lb. cinder blocks daily. With this in mind, CR developed the MULE (Material Unit Lift Enhancer) and designed the initial system to help lift cinder and retaining wall blocks.
Using MULE, productivity increases dramatically and physical strain on the workforce is significantly alleviated. Customers are seeing a return on investment within months, and the company currently has a four-month backlog that is growing each day.
“When we brought the first MULE to a jobsite and realized how much faster it made the job go, we knew it would be impactful both to our company and to the well-being of hard-working masons. There are many other applications for this technology, and we are excited for the future of construction,” said Scott Peters, president and co-founder.
There are currently 11 SAMs and 56 MULEs in use today around the United States.
Even more impressive than these game-changing solutions is the growth of the business. CR is on pace to increase revenue by over 400 percent in 2018, and has several strategic partnerships with leading global companies in the works. The company has 30 employees today and expects to hire an additional 10 by the end of the year.
Construction Robotics has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Forbes, among other leading publications.
OneTen has begun receiving commitments for a $6 million fund specifically curated for Construction Robotics.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to scale the great business that Construction Robotics has built. It is a terrific local story that is being told all over the world,” said Jenae Pitts, OneTen co-founder.
OneTen Capital is Buffalo’s first locally focused venture capital firm and deploys an active partner to work alongside founders in each investment--a process they have trademarked, called Coalition Investing. The organization invests exclusively in hardware and advanced manufacturing companies with engineering founders.
Read more about Vader Systems here
OneTen’s initial fund was in support of Vader Systems--a Getzville father and son team that has developed the world’s first molten metal 3D printer. The company announced its first two commercial sales to Becker, a leading global precision automotive castings manufacturer, earlier this year.
“We see a number of very exciting technologies in this area and are committed to building upon the manufacturing backbone of Buffalo and Western New York,” said Pitts.
“When you think of the Buffalo 20 or 30 years from now, it is possible that one of OneTen’s investments could be the next major employer and defining company for our region,” said Jonathan Amoia, OneTen advisory board member and co-founder. “That is exciting and will be made possible by the many people who have worked hard to build a supportive startup environment in Western New York.”