A Pittsburgh technology firm that builds robots to inspect the country’s aging infrastructure got a large boost this month after raising $73 million in capital from investors across the country.
Gecko Robotics, whose machines are capable of climbing pipelines, boilers, tanks, ship hulls and more in search of damage, announced its latest funding round March 3, led by New York-based investment firm XN.
The funding also included participation from Founders Fund, XYZ and Snowpoint Ventures—all San Francisco venture capital firms—among others, while individual investors include billionaire and Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban and DoorDash executive Gokul Rajaram, among others.
Gecko focuses on essential industries such as power generation, oil and gas, heavy manufacturing and defense. Gecko’s robots capture data while scaling infrastructure, and the company’s software enables human experts to translate that data into action.
Co-founded a decade ago by CEO Jake Loosararian and Chief Product Officer Troy Demmer, the company is headquartered in Pittsburgh, with offices in Houston, Austin, New York City, Boston and Europe.
Loosararian told the Pittsburgh Business Times that the city’s tech talent is key to the company.
“We’re dedicated to building, especially the robotics, engineering talent, in Pittsburgh,” Loosararian told the Business Times. “We’re hiring a lot and we have really strong ties with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and some others in the region, and it’s really important to highlight that we have amazing, amazing people, amazing culture in Pittsburgh, and I am excited to double down on that and see what Pittsburgh can be if we invest in it.”
The company says that as the country’s infrastructure has aged, with some assets remaining in service decades longer than intended, the sector has been largely underserved by technological investment and innovation.
“Gecko’s unique combination of robotics and software radically improves the ability to inspect, protect, and efficiently maintain critical infrastructure,” said Tim Brown, partner at XN and lead investor in the round.
“We are excited to partner with Jake and Troy as they extend Gecko’s powerful technology into new geographies and industries, helping customers collect and make sense of physical data to optimize the safety and performance of their assets.”