Toronto-based proptech startup Promise Robotics has closed $20.8 million CAD ($15 million USD) in Series A financing as it looks to commercialize its robotic factory platform.
The round was led by Horizons Ventures and saw participation from Radical Ventures, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Relay Ventures, and Alate Partners.
Promise Robotics estimated that for every 1 million new homes, its tech can save the industry $130 billion.
Founded in 2021 by CEO Ramtin Attar, who formerly led R&D at proptech firm Autodesk, and chief innovation officer Reza Nasseri, Promise Robotics has developed a software platform that turns off-the-shelf industrial robots into ready-to-deploy production systems for the home building industry.
The goal of the platform is to help homebuilders use automation to address labor shortages, save costs, and build housing from single-family to multi-story buildings faster and more sustainably.
“Builders are reluctant to invest in costly factories and then endure years of trial and error to achieve operational success,” Attar said in a statement. “These capital and knowledge barriers have historically impeded the industry’s ability to invest in automation technology.”
Promise Robotics says it uses artificial intelligence to analyze a building design, generate machine instructions and communicate the instruction via cloud to robots that work collaboratively and autonomously to produce components of the building.
The platform also has an intelligence management function, which the startup says manages the entire production lifecycle, from automated robotic instructions to managing factory floor operations, logistics, and services.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada needs to build more than 3.5 million housing units, on top of those already in development, to restore affordability to the housing market.
In a statement, Promise Robotics noted that new home building rates would need to triple in order to meet this demand, which it said is “a near-impossible feat with traditional construction technology.”
The startup is not only looking to close the housing gap with automation—it’s also looking to make home construction more sustainable. Promise Robotics estimated that for every 1 million new homes, its technology can help the industry save $130 billion in costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 560 megatons.
Promise Robotics has raised $34 million CAD ($25 million USD) to date. The Series A round comes almost two years after Promise Robotics received a grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s seed fund.
“We’re seeing incredible momentum as the team at Promise Robotics successfully deploys AI systems to automate home construction and to bring efficiencies to an industry struggling to maintain productivity,” Salim Teja, partner at Radical Ventures, said in a statement. “Promise Robotics is now poised to transform how buildings get made, creating a more sustainable and affordable built environment.”
Eco-friendly proptech is a growing vertical in Canada. According to a report from August, Canada is home to nearly 70 such firms, with Ontario claiming over half of that total (53 percent). The same report indicated that sustainable proptech startups have received $1.5 billion USD in cumulative investment over the last 17 years.
Promise Robotics, which is one of those startups, claimed its headcount has grown by 200 percent in the last four months, and following this funding, is looking toward commercialization. The startup is currently setting up a “micro-factory” in Alberta, and is planning to initiate partnerships with several homebuilders in the coming weeks and months.
The startup plans to make its factory production solution available to the broader North American home building market in 2025.
Image source Promise Robotics.