Update, June 8, 2021: Sweden’s Husqvarna announced it has increased its investment and ownership in Robin Autopilot USA. “Expanding Husqvarna’s partnership with Robin Autopilot aligns with our strategic growth objectives and connects Husqvarna’s global leadership in professional robotic lawn care and technology with the innovative software solution that Robin Autopilot provides,” said Steve Collins, Husqvarna’s VP of strategy and business development, in a statement. “We greatly value Robin Autopilot’s track record of growth throughout North America, and we look forward to continuing our successful collaboration to increase robotic mowing use among lawn care customers and green space professionals.” Terms of the new investment were not released. Last week, we wrote that Robin Autopilot and its acquisition Mowbot are consolidating into a new headquarters in McKinney, with the help of a grant from the McKinney Economic Development Corporation’s Innovation Fund.
Robots perform surgery, build SUVs, and help run nuclear power plants. But perhaps their greatest destiny? Letting you kick back with a beer while a robot mows your yard.
If that’s the future of lawn care, Robin Autopilot USA just claimed a bigger stake. The Dallas-area robotic mowing tech firm has acquired Mowbot, a competitor with 16 franchises across the U.S. and backing by Swedish powerhouse Husqvarna, Robin announced in a news release. As part of the deal, Robin is expanding its partnership with Husqvarna, a global leader in outdoor power products.
“We are pleased to partner with (Husqvarna) even more directly as we work together to change how North America mows,” Robin CEO Logan Fahey said in the release.
Husqvarna has become an active equity holder within Robin, the company told Dallas Innovates, “and we’ve strategically partnered to attack the Robots as a Service (RaaS) sector.”
“We believe robotic technology will play a rapidly growing role in the future of lawn care,” said Robert McCutcheon, president of Husqvarna NA, in the release. “We consider this an outstanding opportunity to partner with Robin, the leader in the RaaS market for the U.S., to expand our presence in this expanding market.”
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Robin is seeking a location for an expanded headquarters
Currently located in Irving, Robin is actively seeking a location for its new U.S. headquarters in the North Dallas area. Mowbot will relocate to DFW; the company will now be known as “Mowbot Powered by Robin.” The business will be managed by Robin Holdings, led by CEO Logan Fahey.
In December 2020, Robin secured a similar arrangement with Weed Man USA, seeking to grow its share of the $105 billion landscaping services market (Statista).
Robin has 50 total employees and expects to expand to 100 by 2023, the company told us. Most positions will be in software engineering, tech support, and sales.
With the deal, Mowbot will have access to Robin’s “key offerings,” including:
- Proprietary software, such as a package of fleet management, surveyor, and customer acquisition tools;
- Patented products, like Robin’s robotic door system for navigating around fences and tight spots; and
- Robin Academy, e-learning services and training.
The Dallas startup was incubated by Dialexa Labs
Robin was originally incubated by Dallas-based Dialexa Labs. Robin’s founders, Justin Crandall and Bart Lomont, worked with Dialexa to take the concept from idea to launch by “reimagining the future of lawn care,” offering mom-and-pop landscaping companies online payment for customers and job scheduling.
Officially launched in 2017, Robin aimed to offer “a smarter lawn care experience” for both people and the environment, the release said. So Robin developed what it calls “the first-of-its-kind, emissions-free robotic mowing service.” Their subscription-based model has since expanded throughout the U.S., with GPS theft protection and tiered access to proprietary products like robotic doors for homes with fences.
In 2019, the company exited with its acquisition by the Ohio-based Fahey Group. Both Crandall and Lamont remain involved: Crandall sits on the Robin Legacy IP board and Lomont is advisor to both the board and the CEO.
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