Reinforced concrete is the most common construction method among high-rise multifamily buildings.
Rebar, which is made from steel, is anchored into the concrete, providing structural support and reducing the amount of concrete needed to pour a slab. But rebar assembly is a time-consuming and sometimes dangerous process that is prone to human error.
Enter Toggle, a construction robotics company aimed at accelerating project timelines by automating rebar assembly. On Tuesday, Toggle announced that it had raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Tribeca Venture Partners. Other participants included Blackhorn Ventures, Point72, New York State and Twenty Seven Ventures.
The company plans to use the funding to expand its manufacturing capabilities, hiring new employees and opening a new 50,000-square-foot production facility. “At a time when global construction is accelerating at an unprecedented pace, Toggle offers a way to add capacity while saving time and cost on some of the largest types of projects,” said Toggle CEO Daniel Blank in a statement.
Toggle previously netted $3 million in a seed round held in October 2019. Founded in 2016 by Daniel Blank and Ian Cohen, the company is focused on factory pre-fabrication of rebar components, meaning there aren’t any robots hanging around the construction sites.
Their fabricated rebar and pre-tied cages are made in New York and can be delivered within a 300-mile radius. Toggle says that manufacturing their products off-site ensures a “safe and controlled environment” in an effort to reduce costs and speed up the construction process.
“Reinforced concrete is one of the most consumed products globally, with the rebar process at its core. By applying machine learning and robotics to this process, Toggle can massively reduce cost and improve worker safety in this $500B/year market,” said Chip Meakem, Managing Partner at Tribeca Venture Partners.
Property technology companies are revolutionizing the real estate and construction industries. Prior to the pandemic, both sectors had been slow to adopt new technologies. But the shift to virtual solutions, coupled with the pandemic-driven demand for housing, has prompted a wave of investment in proptech companies over the past year and a half.
Toggle’s Series A financing comes on the heels of Canvas’ $24 million Series B round, another construction robotics company that specializes in drywall finishing.