Scythe Robotics Raises $42M for Commercial Autonomous Mower
Colorado-based Scythe Robotics, which develops advanced commercial-grade autonomous systems for professional landscapers, has announced it raised $42 million in Series B funding. The company said it will use the funding to help meet demand for more than 7,500 reservations for its fully electric, fully autonomous M.52 mower. With the latest financing, Scythe Robotics has raised $60.6 million to date.
Founded in 2018, Scythe is aiming to transform the $176 billion U.S. landscaping industry, which has been facing labor shortages and the need to transition to more environmentally sustainable operations. The M.52 enables landscape contractors to care for more green spaces and do so more sustainability, the company said.
“Since launching from stealth in June 2021, we’ve seen overwhelming interest from commercial landscape contractors in Scythe M.52 as a solution addressing both their crippling labor pains and their electrification needs,” said Jack Morrison, co-founder and CEO of Scythe. “We’re thrilled to expand our outstanding investor list, particularly with the addition of influential climate-tech investors Energy Impact Partners and ArcTern Ventures, and secure more capital to scale and meet the phenomenal demand for M.52 as we work to decarbonize the landscape industry.”
With a battery designed to mow all day on a single charge, the latest generation of Scythe M.52 has increased durability to stand up to the demands of landscape operations and additional computing power for even more advanced autonomy, the company said. The mower features several sensors that enable it to operate safely in dynamic environments by identifying and responding to the presence of humans, animals and other potential obstacles. Simultaneously, it captures property and mower performance data, which helps landscape contractors improve workflow, identify upsell opportunities, schedule more efficiently and manage labor costs.
The latest funding round was let by Energy Impact Partners, and included new investors ArcTern Ventures, Alumni Ventures, and Amazon’s Alexa Fund, along with participation from existing investors True Ventures, Inspired Capital, and more.
“Commercial landscaping electrification represents a massive but undercapitalized decarbonization opportunity, tackling more than 40 million metric tons of CO2e emissions annually,” said Sameer Reddy, managing partner at Energy Impact Partners. “By combining cutting-edge robotics with a purpose-built electric platform, Scythe is delivering a no-brainer value proposition for its customers that unlocks the economics of electrification while also alleviating unprecedented labor constraints. With increasing regulatory pressures on emissions and air pollution, we see Scythe playing an instrumental role in decarbonizing our nation’s largest crop: grass.”
Further addressing customer needs, Scythe said its pay-as-you-mow pricing model aligns the company with the objectives of landscape contractors to decrease mowing costs and maximize uptime. It also provides a cashflow-friendly switch to electric equipment, which landscape businesses typically have to buy outright at a cost three to four times more than traditional gas-powered mowers. Scythe M.52 units have already been deployed to customer operations in Texas and are currently rolling out to customers in Florida.
“As a landscape veteran, it’s exciting to see this level of investment and interest in our industry,” said Ben Collinsworth, director of operational technology at Yellowstone Landscape, a Scythe customer and the largest privately held commercial landscape company in North America. “The team at Scythe has developed cutting-edge solutions that tackle real, deeply-felt challenges our business wrestles with every day. We’re excited to partner with them in transforming the industry as we roll out M.52 to our operations.”
For more details on the company, visit the Scythe Robotics website here.