Promise Robotics bags Series A to bridge the big housing gap

 Promise Robotics bags Series A to bridge the big housing gap

Image courtesy: Promise Robotics

Toronto-based proptech startup Promise Robotics has secured a US$15 million Series A round led by Horizon Ventures. Radical Ventures, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Relay Ventures, and Alate Partners also participated in the round. This brings its total funding to US$25 million till date. The company had earlier raised a seed grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) in December 2021.

Promise Robotocs is an AI startup creating a cloud-based industrial production platform for robotic construction and assembly. Ramtin Attar and Reza Nasseri founded the company in 2021. The company plans to use the fresh capital to commercialize its robotic factory platform. It’s vision is to speed up home construction and also significantly cut down the associated costs.

This is at least the third major investment announcement by Horizon Ventures in recent weeks. The firm famously made investments in Spotify and Impossible Foods in early stages. In late September, the firm led the Series A round of erthos, a Toronto-based pioneering biomaterials startup. It also led Series B of Kneron, a San Diego-based company developing full-stack hardware and software products for AI applications.

“It’s hard to imagine we will be building homes the same way in 5-10 years. Promise Robotics is well-positioned to be a disruptive force in this industry. We studied the landscape and concluded that Promise Robotics was not only a technical leader, they had an immediate eye towards working with the home builder and rapid commercialization.”

Kerry Liu, Horizons Ventures

Also read: Local Logic gets US$13M boost for real estate tech

Promise Robotics bridging the housing gap with innovative robotic technology

Promise Robotics integrates off-the-shelf industrial robots into a cloud-based platform for autonomous construction and assembly, utilizing artificial intelligence. It can analyze building designs, generate machine instructions, and coordinate collaborative robotic operations to fabricate various building components seamlessly. Accordingly, it seeks to address the prevailing labor shortages and accelerate the construction process. In turn, it hopes to help make housing development more cost-effective and sustainable in North America.

Ramtin Attar, the CEO and co-founder of Promise Robotics, highlighted the reluctance of builders to invest in high-cost factories. This, he said, was due to the extended phase of trial and error needed to reach operational success. He identified the historical capital and knowledge barriers as significant impediments to the industry’s engagement with automation technology. However, by blending their extensive expertise in automated homebuilding with transformative technology innovations, Promise Robotics aims to dismantle these barriers. With that it aims to pave the way for broader adoption of automation in the homebuilding industry.

According to the startup, their technology could potentially save the industry a CA$130 billion for every million new homes built. Furthermore, Promise Robotics aims to address the housing deficit, especially in Canada where the need for over 3.5 million additional housing units is critical to restoring market affordability. Moreover, the firm estimates that their technology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 560 megatons for every million new homes constructed.

The company has seen a 200 percent increase in headcount over the last four months. It is now setting up a “micro-factory” in Alberta and is forging partnerships with various homebuilders. Looking forward, Promise Robotics plans to roll out its factory production solution across the broader North American home building market by 2025.

Also read: Doormat raises CA$1.25M for better real estate legal service

Canadian PropTech sector undergoing a growth phase

Recent investments in Canadian proptech startups illustrate a growing interest in innovative solutions within the real estate sector. Investments from major US funds like Tiger Global, Coatue, Bain Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners have been on the rise in the sector. These investments also span various segments within proptech, including construction technology and real estate decarbonization among others.

In conjunction, the Canadian proptech sector is experiencing a surge of growth in startups playing in the field. Over 450 proptech startups had emerged in Canada by mid 2022, half of them founded within the previous five years. The sector is not only growing in numbers but expanding in scope, covering various segments from construction tech to real estate management platforms.

A report estimates that over CA$1.5 billion has been invested in Canadian proptech startups by late 2022, which has only gone up this year. Among other recent examples, Montreal-based location intelligence platform for real estate tech, Local Logic raised Series B. Earlier, Doormat raised CA$1.25M for better real estate legal service. Further, Denver-based alternative asset manager, Bow River Capital, recently took a majority stake investment in Vitruvi, a prominent construction tech firm. 

These instances underline a dynamic and evolving proptech landscape in Canada, which is a positive sign for both investors and innovators within this space.

Also read: Bow River Capital boosts portfolio with Vitruvi acquisition


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