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German industrial group STIHL has made a significant investment into Danish robotics company TinyMobileRobots. STIHL’s robotic lawn mowers share a strong technical kinship with the fully autonomous line-marking robots produced by TinyMobileRobots, which are intended for use in sports fields, road construction, agriculture and more.
TinyMobileRobots is expanding rapidly into international markets, from its homebase in Denmark. The company is profitable and has doubled in size each of the past couple years, it said.
The STIHL Group has been closely following TinyMobileRobots’ rapid growth and is taking this opportunity to acquire 23.8% of TinyMobileRobots, buying out the company’s former state-funded investment, managed by venture capital firm Borean Innovation.
Private investor Anders Fauerskov, former co-owner of TC Group, will continue to own part of the company and remains a significant capital partner within the new circle of owners. There was no additional cash infusion into TinyMobileRobots by STIHL, but the new relationship brings other advantages.
“We have been looking for a strong partner capable of securing further growth and development – and partnering with STIHL is an absolute dream scenario,” said Jens Peder Kristensen, founder and CEO of TinyMobileRobots. “Together, we share a pool of knowledge, experience and skills, which will create great value for both companies. Right from the outset, we will also benefit greatly from STIHL’s worldwide network of dealers. While maintaining our status as an independent company, we can draw on STIHL’s huge market experience to accelerate our growth further. To put it mildly, I’m very, very happy with this new development.”
In just five years, TinyMobileRobots has found a strong market for its line marking robots, both in sports field marking, as well as civil engineering applications in road construction.
“We have been in dialogue with STIHL for a couple of years. Finally, there was a possibility to let STIHL buy a portion of the company. This makes it possible for us to coordinate a lot of activities in both development and in the markets, and this means that our expectation about growing 100% a year now is much more solid,” said Kristensen. “STIHL is well known in the market, and they are known as a quality product – we are a startup, we continuously improving our quality. We can learn a lot from STIHL, and actually STIHL can also learn a lot from us. STIHL has developed the quality concept to the extreme, which (also) means that they have a long development time. They were impressed by how quick we can move to the market, and how quick we can adapt our technologies.”
STIHL continues to expand into the U.S. market and the partnership presents great potential and synergy for the two companies working together. TinyMobileRobots’ line marking robots meet a high customer demand for more sustainable products since they are powered by batteries instead of gas, and use significantly lower amounts of line paint compared to competing solutions.
“We have been in close contact with TinyMobileRobots for more than two years and steadily, we have become more and more impressed with their growth rates and performance. As the chance to acquire nearly a quarter of the company arose, we were quick to strike a deal. We feel convinced that our future collective efforts will lead to an even greater share of TinyMobileRobots’ fast growing and innovation driven market,” said Benjamin Junghans, Director of STIHL Digital.
TinyMobileRobots also developed a PropTech-robot for measuring large indoor areas such as high-rise construction sites, storage buildings, warehouses and production facilities, where millions of square feet otherwise have to be measured manually. By using TinyMobileRobots, these time-consuming tasks can be optimized significantly.