The MC of the Kit Kat Klub in “Cabaret” famously sang, “Money makes the world go around, money, money, money….” Set in 1929, the musical’s lyrics are just as pointed today. Money is the source of resources for people and businesses alike and funding the future developments of tech firms especially depend on getting investments. These days, there are a variety of ways to find that funding.
Following the more traditional route, Dusty Robotics, a robotic solution provider for the construction industry, closed a $45 million Series B round of investment led by Scale Venture Partners and joined by returning investors Baseline Ventures, Canaan Partners, Root Ventures, NextGen Venture Partners, and Cantos. The company will use these funds to grow its team, expand its product offerings, and accelerate manufacturing with the goal of deploying Dusty products on all construction sites in the U.S.
Dusty’s FieldPrinter eliminates one of the most common sources of conflict on construction projects: incorrect hand-drawn layout using a chalk line process that was invented 5000 years ago by the early Egyptians. The FieldPrinter automates the process of taking digital floor plans onto construction sites by printing them full-size on the floor through a combination of hardware, software, and services. This end-to-end solution ensures that all trades build from the same set of plans, eliminating errors, expediting conflict resolution, and significantly reducing the cost and duration of construction.
Investors want to see potential as well as previous success, and Dusty Robotics did just that. The FieldPrinter 1.0 release marks the first milestone of a production system ready for widespread use. New features in 1.0 include:
- Printing around reshores or on congested sites using automatic obstacle detection and avoidance
- QR code printing, enabling instant access to construction documents
- Fast, efficient printing including single-pass printing of intersection points
- Realtime progress monitoring
Several dozen contractors are using the FieldPrinter on job sites across the U.S., including some of the biggest names in construction: DPR, Swinerton, PARIC, Performance Contracting Inc., and Southland Industries. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, Dusty’s printers laid out more than 25 million square feet on the floors of buildings – enough to build the equivalent of 25 football stadiums, or 31,000 new apartment units.
Making their pitch to investor groups is a time-tested approach. With the proliferation of small-scale investors in mind, many online “crowdsourcing” sites have developed. Pantera Tools, a construction software platform best known for its customized bid management system, launched a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform, StartEngine.
Crowdfunding offers an opportunity for investors, both large and small, to share in Pantera’s mission to provide general contractors, and their subcontractors, with a complete suite of project management tools to help them streamline their projects at a fraction of the price of other software platforms on the market. In this case, the StartEngine Crowdfunding campaign will provide the Sales and Marketing means for Pantera to make the industry aware of the new offering.
Why crowdfunding? One reason Pantera Tools chose that method was their brand recognition in the market is low. Their Bid Management product is what is called “a white-labeled application.” That means the Pantera brand doesn’t appear, making it difficult to promote their Brand as they host hundreds of individual customer Websites, promoting the customers brand instead. The new Project Management product will carry the Pantera Tools brand.
In addition to their existing Bid Management, Field Communication, and Project Management features, Pantera Tools will be launching a Job Costing module at no additional cost. Features such as Budgeting, Direct Costs, Prime Contracts, Commitments, Change Orders, Invoicing, and Timecards will soon be available for existing customers.
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