By Katie Roof
Gecko Robotics has raised $100 million for its robots that assess the safety and condition of infrastructure for industries including defense, oil and manufacturing.
The Pittsburgh-based company, whose customers include the US Navy last year’s Series C and Air Force, received new investment as an extension to last year’s Series C round, giving the company a post-money valuation of $633 million. US Innovative Technology Fund and Founders Fund will be taking board seats, Gecko said in a statement Tuesday.
One of the seats is going to Trae Stephens from Founders Fund, who is a co-founder of defense technology business Anduril Industries. Stephens, a partner at the firm, said that its investment in Gecko was initially made because “the industrial maintenance space was being neglected for a really long time.”
He said Gecko has been solving “important strategic problems that exist across the national security ecosystem.”
Gecko touts its innovative products, which are at the intersection of two growing startup categories: artificial intelligence and defense technology. It uses AI-powered software and robotics to help its clients maintain critical assets for the military. Gecko has signed a contract with the Air Force to help it modernize its nuclear technology and it continues to help the Navy maintain its fleet.
“It’s really sucky that taxpayers are paying for faulty equipment,” Chief Executive Officer Jake Loosararian said in an interview. “We have to pay to rebuild and re-manufacture things that should have been caught way earlier in the process.”
Gecko announced in November that was contracting with the navy to help modernize the manufacturing process for the $132 Billion Columbia-class nuclear submarine program. The company said it will use its advanced weld inspection and data capabilities to reduce inspection times and costs.
Loosararian said Gecko’s technology is also being used by Israel and the company is in talks to help Ukraine with critical infrastructure. It’s also used to help developing nations.
In October, Gecko announced new AI software, Cantilever, which is used by customers including the Navy to make faster decisions.
This latest financing adds to the more than $120 million the company had already raised, according to data provider PitchBook. Other investors include Mark Cuban and Y Combinator.
Loosararian said “this raise allows for us to reach profitability without ever having to raise again.” The company, which intends to eventually go public, plans to use the capital to make acquisitions in both the software and hardware spaces, he said.
(Updates with US Navy contract in seventh paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to specify that Gecko Robotics has been in talks with Ukraine.)
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