Robotics & Automation News

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PaintJet raises $10 million in Series A funding

PaintJet, the robotics company bringing automation to industrial painting, has raised $10 million in Series A funding to bring critical automation technology to the construction industry and address widespread labor shortages.

The latest round of funding was led by Outsiders Fund with participation from 53 Stations, Dynamo, Pathbreaker Ventures, MetaProp and VSC Ventures. This brings PaintJet’s total funding to $14.75 million.

Every single commercial building needs to be painted for protection from the natural environment, but the American painting sector is in crisis, lacking 100,000 laborers that are needed to meet today’s project demands.

This number is expected to rise due to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, leading to faster building deterioration and more frequent repainting.

Automation, such as that provided by PaintJet’s robotic solutions, is becoming a critical necessity to address this growing demand for protective coatings and paint.

Rather than selling or leasing its robots to construction teams, the startup provides a comprehensive service inclusive of its robot and proprietary paint and maintains oversight of the painting process from start to finish.

This model enables PaintJet to tap into the $200 billion paint market without being reliant on a shrinking workforce.

Nick Hegeman, CEO and co-founder of PaintJet, says: “Our latest round of funding has officially signaled that help is on the horizon for the industrial painting industry.

“It’s not just about automation; it’s about redefining industry standards, addressing labor shortages, and introducing cost-effective solutions that break the mold of traditional painting.

“I’m thankful to our investors for backing our mission and enabling us to expand both geographically and across new sectors.”

George Easley, principal at Outsiders, says: “The demand for skilled labor in construction is rapidly outpacing the available workforce. PaintJet’s innovative solutions address this acute labor shortage while making significant strides in transforming the industry.

“There are a number of features that make the business uniquely exciting. PaintJet’s market exhibits acyclical demand while suffering from structural inefficiency, and the business itself has both a differentiated technical approach and a force-of-nature team with rare expertise in commercial painting.

“We’re energized to partner with them to grow their team, offerings, and reach.”

With the new capital, PaintJet will relocate its headquarters from Nashville to Virginia in early 2024 and make strategic engineering, financial and operational hires.

This move will also support the company’s expansion into marine-based projects. When used on ships, PaintJet’s proprietary paint can not only prevent rust and corrosion, but prohibit mollusks, algae, and fungus from attaching to the bottom of a boat.

Without this layer of protection keeping the boat’s bottom smooth, ships can lose 40 percent of their fuel economy due to increased drag – a significant reason the US Navy has a $3 billion budget just to paint its ships and submarines.

In October 2023, PaintJet unveiled its latest innovations, the Bravo robotic painter and its Alpha Shield paint to provide a complete solution for industrial painting.

Alpha Shield paint, with its proprietary formula, lasts twice as long, reducing the frequency and cost of repainting for building owners. It also results in a 9 percent average reduction in air conditioning expenses due to its insulating properties.

Additionally, the Bravo robot, powered by predictive analytics imaging, uses 25 percent less paint overall, driving down operational costs, minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals, and ensuring a higher-quality finish that requires less maintenance over time.

The company’s technology is already trusted by customers including Prologis, Clayco, Layton Construction, Brinkmann Constructors and more to receive high-quality painting that prevents projects from premature aging.

Shaun Carter, superintendent for Vardaman Construction, says: “PaintJet’s system is truly exceptional.

“The speed, precision, and quality it delivered surpassed anything I had ever seen. It’s changing the way we approach industrial painting and setting the gold standard for efficiency and protection.”

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