February 2, 2022
German industrial group STIHL has announced it acquired 23.8% of Danish robotics company TinyMobileRobots, which uses GPS to autonomously mark lines for sports fields around the world. STIHL said its robotic lawn mowers share a strong technical kinship with the line marking robots produced by TinyMobileRobots, which can be used in other sectors such as road construction and agriculture.
STIHL Group said it has been closely following the company’s rapid international growth in recent years, which has doubled in size each year. The corporate venture arm of STIHL, STIHL Digital, has bought out the company’s former state-funded investment, managed by venture capital firm Borean Innovation. This was commissioned by the Danish government as part of an environmental innovation program. 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.
“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 five years, TInyMobileRobots said it has captured more than half the market for line-marking robots in the U.S. alone. Because the U.S. is one of STIHL’s expansion markets, the partnership represents potential and synergy for the two companies, STIHL said. TinyMobileRobots products are powered by batteries, instead of diesel, and use significantly lower amounts of line paint compared to competing solutions.
TinyMobileRobots said it has improved their proprietary technology, and its robots are used by several sports clubs, municipalities, airports, and increasingly, construction and engineering companies. The firm developed a PropTech-robot that can measure large indoor areas such as high-rise construction sites, storage buildings, warehouses and production facilities, where millions of square feet otherwise would need to be measured manually.
For line marking, the company said it takes an experienced lawn keeper about five hours to mark the lines of a soccer field when performing the task for the first time. In comparison, the robot from TinyMobileRobots can complete the same task in about 20 minutes. The company said its robots have marked almost 800,000 sports fields around the world.
“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,” said Benjamin Junghans, director of STIHL Digital. “As the chance to acquire nearly a quarter of the company rose, 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.”
For more details on the company and its technologies, visit the TinyMobileRobots website here.