Greenzie looks as though it was built for a moment like this.
The Atlanta-based software startup works to automate the commercial lawn mowers you see at golf courses, parks, sporting venues, and similar grass-intensive spaces. Since 2018 the team has been building solutions for landscapers, manufacturers, and those in ground maintenance.
The push to streamline operations has been stronger recently as landscapers and manufacturers alike deal with several economic headwinds. Labor problems have hurt ground maintenance crews particularly hard, explained CEO and co-founder Charles Brian Quinn.
“Labor shortages are a mix of overall market challenges. If you are a landscaper, your major expenses are labor and fuel. Additionally the work itself is repetitive, dangerous, dull, and retention is very tough. There’s seasonality, and yet the grass keeps growing,” Quinn told Hypepotamus.
Greenzie’s approach to automating the tedious aspects of lawn care previously brought in investors from Atlanta Ventures, TechSquare Labs, Reliance Advisors, and individuals well-known in the Atlanta startup community like Andy Powell, Tom Noonan, Craid Hyde, and Kyle Porter.
And as that grass keeps growing in 2022, Greenzie has been attracting new investment.
The team recently closed a $8 million round led by Atlanta Ventures and with strategic investor Bobcat Company. This is Greenzie’s largest investment round to date.
Quinn said adding Bobcat is key as the startup grows its partnerships with large manufacturers in the space.
“Bobcat is innovative, and they build hardware that is rugged, reliable, and works, allowing us to focus on the software.” Quinn added. “We see integrations with their existing control systems, safety-rated radar, and other hardware improving our capabilities and our software’s usage. Lawn mowing is just the start, there are other areas of repetitive light construction (of which Bobcat invented the category) full of tedious, repetitive activities suited for automated software to assist customers in being more efficient.”
The Autonomous Future
This is the latest sign of growth for the robotics startup. In 2020 and 2021, Greenzie closed a $4 million funding round and announced a strategic partnership with Wright Manufacturing, one of the larger players in the commercial mowing company.
It has also been busy building out its internal team. Quinn said the team has grown from 15 to 26 full time employees since its last raise. The team is actively hiring more on its engineering team, according to the company’s website.
Greenzie isn’t the only team in the Southeast focusing on industrial automation. Up in Charlotte, Y Combinator grad Lucid Drones has been building out fleets of drones to do labor-intensive tasks like large-scale cleaning and disinfection projects.
Other startups in the automation space are heavily concentrated in the supply chain, logistics, and warehousing spaces, as companies race to find the best solutions as to how we move and store goods.
Venture funding into industrial automation is up over the last few years, reaching well over $1 billion in investment in 2021 as robotics technologies surged during the pandemic.