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Electric Sheep Robotics, a developer of autonomous navigation technology for lawn mowers, $21.5 million in Series A funding. It also announced the general availability of its Dexter system that turns existing commercial lawn mowers, both gas and electric, into autonomous mowers.
Dexter attaches to new or existing lawn mowers to autonomously mow any type of grass. According to Electric Sheep Robotics, Landscapers manually show Dexter what to do one time, and the robot then autonomously repeats those actions.
Dexter uses LiDAR, cameras, GPS, and ultrasonic sensors for maneuvering across diverse terrain. It features over-the-air firmware updates and incorporates a safety-rated system capable of detecting perimeter breaches. Dexter is being designed to the evolving R15.08 standard for self-driving robots and is available with no upfront costs through a robots-as-a-service (RaaS) model.
“I don’t think people realize that lawns are America’s largest crop. More land and water are dedicated to lawns than to wheat and corn combined, and more than 40 million acres of land in the U.S. has some form of lawn,” Naganand Murty, CEO of Electric Sheep. “$20 billion is allocated annually to lawn mowing alone*. Solutions such as Electric Sheep’s Dexter robot are helping our customers meet demand and better allocate their already scarce labor pool.”
Electric Sheep said it will use the Series A funds to fuel expansion across all departments to meet growing customer demand. The company said it currently has contracts with 30 customers across the U.S.
“The landscape industry, like many others, is experiencing extreme labor shortages, and for us, COVID-19 has only exacerbated a pre-existing problem,” said Matt Menoni of Apex Landscaping. “The automation of our mowing work allows our teams to redirect their focus onto more specialized work at our clients’ properties – the stuff they actually get excited about. We’re also big believers that this opens the door for young people to get excited about horticulture.”
Tiger Global led the Series A round To date, Electric Sheep Robotics has raised $25.7 million. Other investors include Foundation Capital, grep -vc, Signia Venture Partners, as well as individual pre-Seed investors Ariel Cohen (TripActions), Travis Deyle (Cobalt Robotics), Sahil Lavingia (Gumroad), and Reinforced Ventures.