Bangalore-based Pace Robotics raised an undisclosed Seed investment from Pidilite Industries Ltd. Pidilite takes an equity stake of 19.5% in the company. Pace Robotics has raised a total of $70.5K in funding over two rounds. The previous round closed in March 2021.
Pace plans to use this round of funding to invest in product development and expand the core team. Founded in July 2020 by Ayushmoy Roy and Srinivas K Pai, the startup has been working on a prototype for a wall-finishing robot for internal plastering, painting and putty of buildings.
The company said the robot can improve efficiency and reduce costs of the wall-finishing process. It has received pilot interests from several real estate developers and contractors and plans to build and deploy the first-generation robots in sites for pilots in coming months.
The company plans to go to market through channel partners such as sub-contractors, as well as larger general contractors or developers. By leveraging a Robotics as a Service (RaaS) business model, the company expects to lower the risk for adoption of the technology and fill in any gaps caused by lack of human labor for the specific construction applications. This business design will require a large capital inflow for the next couple round of investment as the company builds out its fleet of machines for field deployment.
For early market applications such as plastering, painting and puttying, deploying the robots in a RaaS model means Pace can upgrade, retrofit and enhance the fleet of machines in the field.
“Support from Pidilite validates the company’s vision to disrupt one of the oldest and largest industries in the world and will help us accelerate product development and market entry,” said Co-Founder, Srinivas K Pai. Incubated by SINE-IIT Bombay, Pace Robotics also has MARL 5G Accelerator and Kochi Holdings as other investors on board.
San Francisco-based Canvas develops a similar robot to finish drywall. Its robot combines a mobile base, robot arm, multiple end effectors and computer vision to spray and sand drywall mud. Canvas considers itself a tech-enabled drywall subcontractor, not a robotics company.
Pace believes there is an $11 billion market opportunity in India as it outlined in the company pitch video from its MARL 5G Accelerator program in Spring 2021.