Israeli Startup RoboDeck has successfully completed a pre-seed funding round of $2 million, led by SOSV, with the participation of German fund Scalar Ventures, Etz-Ve-Etza, and several private investors, including entrepreneur Ziv Elul and Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist of AI at Google.
RoboDeck has developed the world’s first and only robot designed for deck maintenance, applicable to service professionals and commercial properties such as office buildings, urban areas, boardwalks, restaurants, hotels, and large private homes. The company invented a preventive maintenance method performed autonomously by the robot several times a year, preserving the stunning look of decks all year round. The incorporation of AI enables the robot to optimize its maintenance routines based on real-time data and environmental conditions, resulting in decks do not fade, are safer, and their lifespan is significantly extended, contributing positively to the global environment.
According to data from the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), about 60 million deck surfaces are scattered across commercial properties and residential areas in the US alone. The annual expenditure on their maintenance is estimated at $20 billion. The neglect of these decks leads to the aging of the wood, infestation by insects, safety hazards, and high repair or replacement costs.
The industry faces an increasing shortage of skilled labor, with nearly a quarter of the workforce being over the age of 55. Therefore, there is a growing demand for technology that can streamline maintenance processes using existing human resources.
Deck surfaces, which are highly favored in the US and worldwide due to their aesthetic appeal and use of the most environmentally friendly building material, wood, require regular maintenance that disrupts their use. This disruption negatively impacts the experience of visitors and residents, leading to revenue loss for businesses such as hotels and restaurants. RoboDeck prevents such disruption by efficiently treating 1000 square feet of deck in just 20 minutes. By comparison, this area would typically require a team of two workers for two to three days using conventional methods. The treatment is carried out using a unique and environmentally friendly material developed by the company in collaboration with Cabots.
“Our investment in RoboDeck solidifies our belief in robotics companies that create genuine value for tasks that require significant labor, enabling the workforce to allocate their efforts towards more impactful tasks.” – Cyril Ebersweiler, general partner at SOSV.
RoboDeck boasts an impressive client portfolio, including Cal Preserving – California’s largest deck maintenance company, SVB Bank offices in San Jose, The Tel Aviv Municipality, Azrieli Group, Ariel Properties of Electra Group – Israel’s largest property management company, Bezeq, Herbert Samuel Hotels, Hadassah Medical Center and others. The company has implemented a RaaS (Robot as a Service) model, generating a recurring revenue stream from its clients. According to this model, payment to RoboDeck is based on the size of the deck surface maintained, enabling the company to handle projects of all sizes without requiring significant upfront investment from clients for robot purchases.
RoboDeck was established in 2020 when Gal Frankel (CEO) proposed the idea of a deck-maintaining robot to Lior Dehan (Founding Advisor). They co-founded the concept of preventive maintenance for decks. Later, they were joined by Ran Zaslavsky (CTO) and Noam Rand (CPO), who brought extensive experience in high-tech, entrepreneurship, and robotics.
Gal Frankel is a serial entrepreneur, founder, and former CEO of the cloud platform Backand, with a successful exit in Sky Productions. Ran served as the director of R&D at Friendly Robotics and led the development of the company’s robotics products until its acquisition by Stanley Black & Decker. Noam relocated from the US to serve in the prestigious Israeli Intelligence Unit 81. He received the prestigious Israeli Defense Prize and manages the company’s operations in the United States today. Lior, an expert in decking and coatings, closely accompanies the company.
The recent investment will be used to expand production capabilities to meet demand and increase the operational and R&D teams within the company. RoboDeck currently employs 10 people in Israel and Los Angeles.
[Photo (left to right): Noam Rand (CPO), Gal Frankel (CEO) and Ran Zaslavsky (CTO). Credit : RoboDeck]