Longmont company Scythe Robotics has secured $42 million in financing for production of its zero-emissions autonomous mowers, the business announced Tuesday.
The company’s Scythe M.52 mower aims to help commercial landscape contractors become more sustainable — each gas-powered mower produces, in one hour, the same emissions as a car driving 300 miles, said Billy Otteman, Scythe Robotics’ director of marketing.
“Our mower is able to produce the same amount of output and productivity as a gas-powered mower, plus have the environmental benefit,” Ottoman said.
The latest round of financing, which was led by the investment firm Energy Impact Partners, will help Scythe Robotics fulfill more than 7,500 reservations for its mower across North America, Ottoman said.
“We have such high demand in this market … from businesses of all sizes — from a million dollars to 100 million plus in revenue,” he explained.
To date, the company has raised more than $60 million from investors such as Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and venture capital investors ArcTern Ventures and Alumni Ventures.
Scythe Robotics, at 2120 Miller Drive in Longmont, was founded in 2018 by Jack Morrison, Davis Foster and Isaac Roberts. They ran research and development for several years before launching the brand publicly in 2021.
The company not only aims to reduce pollution, but help commercial landscapers who are struggling with labor shortages, Otteman said.
“The mower can do 1.5 to 2 acres an hour, and so with that, the crew is then able to do all the other stuff onsite, so trimming, edging, picking up trash,” he explained. “What would be a three or four-man crew can just be a two-man crew and a couple of robots.”
The Scythe M.52’s battery can mow throughout the day on a single charge, Ottoman said. The mower is designed to be durable and low-maintenance.
“Being an electric machine, it is significantly cheaper and easier to maintain than a gas-powered machine … just in terms of overall pulleys and belts to replace, oil filters, oil and all of those things,” Ottoman said.
The mower — which can also be controlled manually — is able to navigate around objects and stop for anything that moves, then start again when the movement is over, he explained.
The company has been testing its mowers with commercial landscapers in Longmont, Texas and Florida.
Scythe has adopted a pay-as-you-mow pricing model, so it’s not selling the mowers outright. Instead, contractors rent the mowers and pay around $30 per acre.
“With this usage-based model, they’ll always have the most up-to-date equipment,” Ottoman said. “We’ll be continually cycling new technology to the field … the technology is advancing very quickly.”
The updates will include both software and hardware, he explained. In five years, the company has produced five generations of the machine.