Last year, Swap Robotics made a strong impression when they appeared as a finalist at our Disrupt 2022 Battlefield competition. Their idea for a robot mower with a modular design that could quickly swap out batteries and add-ons such as snowplows made them stand out from the rest.
The company has made an impression with its concentrated attention to a far more particular area than most. Rather than attending to both home and commercial lawns, Swap has markedly dedicated its resources to just solar farms â a flourishing industry, with no doubt.
Tim Lichti, founder and CEO, explains to TechCrunch that the solar market is a key market for their business. The primary issue for customers with utility-scale solar installations is the cost of maintaining the grass and vegetation, and the product they offer solves that issue as the large sites are cordoned off from the public, allowing the robots to work around the clock and boosting the acreage mown in one month. It is projected that the global market value of solar technology will be in the tens of billions of dollars annually by the year 2030.
Although the company was not the winner, it has increased investor interest. Today, SOLV Energy, a Californian solar supplier, declared they have raised $7 million in the seed round. It has also gained investments from SOSV and their HAX division.
Raising money for their seed was a challenge because of the current conditions in fundraising, but Lichti states that the buzz around sustainability was great enough to counterbalance the obstacles.
He states that being a climate tech-focused business has made acquiring funds straightforward in the current economy. He cites the IRA, the high quality of their product, and the size of the team (40 members) as the factors that have made this possible. Furthermore, they are currently engaged in talks with fifty of the world’s most prominent solar asset owners with the aim of further investment.
The company has already initiated the installation of its systems to choose farms in the South of the United States, with the aim to widen to other regions by 2023. An international expansion is intending to initiate next year. In the present, the solar field is a major emphasis for the company’s expansion, specifically because of the continuous lack of staff.
Lichti states that their organization has already garnered contracts with a total worth of $9 million for the upcoming three years that make use of a RaaS (robots-as-a-service) system wherein prices are determined based on several factors consisting of the frequency and nature of the terrain.