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Scythe Robotics raises $42M to jumpstart auto-mower production

LONGMONT — Scythe Robotics Inc., which has developed a commercial-grade autonomous lawn mower, has raised $42 million in Series B financing that the company said will be used to help “meet demand for the more than 7,500 reservations” customers have made for its product. 

“Since launching from stealth in June 2021, we’ve seen overwhelming interest from commercial landscape contractors in Scythe M.52x [the company’s debut mower product] as a solution addressing both their crippling labor pains and their electrification needs,” Scythe CEO Jack Morrison said in a news release. “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.”

Scythe’s automation technology uses eight HDR cameras and a suite of sensors to detect and avoid people, animals and other obstacles

“Commercial landscaping electrification represents a massive but undercapitalized decarbonization opportunity, tackling more than 40 million metric tons of CO2e emissions annually,” Energy Impact Partners managing partner Sameer Reddy said in the release. “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.”

Scythe received an offer of tax incentives from the state last month to help it build its 50,000-square-foot manufacturing operation in Longmont. 

The company had nearly 40 employees as of last summer, when the incentives were approved. 

The Colorado Economic Development Commission signed off unanimously in August on the offer of $372,000 over five years from its strategic fund. Scythe expects to create 394 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $116,881, according to Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade documents. New positions will include engineers, manufacturers, and roles in sales and operations.

“There’s a lot of interest out there for something brand new in the industry,” Scythe vice president of finance Leo Jiang told the EDC last year. 

The Series B raise for Scythe, founded in 2018, comes on the heels of a 2021 $13.8 million Series A round that marked the company’s emergence from stealth mode.

Source: BizWest