Today, the grass is indeed greener for Atlanta-based Greenzie, a software company that gives commercial lawn mowers self-driving capabilities.
Less than a year after closing a $500,000 investment led by Atlanta Ventures, the company has announced that it has raised a new $750,000 investment funding round from a group that again includes Atlanta Ventures, as well as TechSquare Labs and others.
The “aftermarket autopilot” technology company says its retrofit kit and software works with most stand-on, zero-turn commercial mowers made by major manufacturers in 2018 or later. Greenzie is already operating in the Atlanta area and is quickly looking for greener pastures beyond Georgia’s capital city.
Greenzie happens to be the first company to launch from David Cummings’ Atlanta Ventures Studio, which provides support in the form of “startup resources, mentoring, community, office space, and financial considerations” to founders looking to build outstanding companies from scratch. Cummings said in a statement that it’s “incredible” to see customer demand for robotic software that can help eliminate what he calls “repetitive labor,” which those who cut their own yards understand far too well.
“Greenzie is going to define the outdoor robotics industry in Atlanta and the greater region,” Cummings said.
Additional investors include Matt Lowe (Swiftstraw), Glenn Beyerl (KPM), Reliance Advisors (Dan Campbell), Carswell Distributing Company (Will Parsley), Tom Noonan, Kyle Porter, Allen Graber, and Raul Velarde.
Greenzie’s website claims that the custom software in its self-mowing technology still allows manual grass-cutting operation, but uses standard robotic sensors to create a mowing field boundary at a “cm-level” of accuracy, using real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS positioning, commercial-grade Inertial Measurement (IMU) devices, and odometry. Once waypoints are created, Greenzie’s hardware interface can control the mower directly.
In simpler terms, you attach the Greenzie kit to a mower, you manually mow the lawn to let the system map the boundaries to be cut, and you let Greenzie’s technology handle the cutting from then on. All that’s left is weeding and edging, which is still your job. After all, we can’t just let robots take over the entire landscaping industry, can we?
No, said Jim McCutcheon, CEO of Greenzie client HighGrove Partners, in a statement.
“Labor is our number one issue right now. The thing is, we don’t want to reduce our overall headcount, we want to enhance the number of people that we can employ — the problem is trying to find those folks. With access to the Greenzie software, it takes away the mundane tasks of mowing and lets us focus on finding those folks,” McCutcheon said.
In addition to funding delivery of Greenzie’s Green Glove Service program of crews who will be mowing lawns for the two largest landscaping companies in the U.S., the $750K will also allow the Atlanta Tech Village startup to enhance and improve software capabilities.