A Brooklyn, N.Y. startup using robotics and automation to optimize rebar fabrication has raised $3 million in seed funding to expand its team and further develop its technology. Toggle’s goal is to double steel shop labor productivity and increase cage production five-fold over traditional assembly methods.
“Global urbanization is driving demand for ever larger and more complex urban high rise and civil infrastructure construction. At Toggle, we believe part of the solution to delivering these projects will be through leveraging robotics and automation to multiply the productivity of labor,” says Toggle CEO Daniel Blank. “We are extremely grateful for the incredible support we’ve had from our investors in helping to realize our vision of bringing large scale construction to communities at the same level of quality, speed and value as manufactured consumer goods.”
The AI Group of Silicon Valley investor Point72 Ventures led the round of financing, and was joined by VC Twenty Seven Ventures plus Mark Cuban, star of Shark Tank, the prime time ABC program showcasing startup businesses. “We are impressed by Toggle’s innovative approach to using robotics and model-driven automation to modernize a critical element of the construction process,” affirms Sri Chandrasekar, Point72 Ventures partner. “Toggle’s approach has the potential to dramatically reduce rebar manufacturing costs, increase production facility capacity, and bring more precision and reliability to a fabrication process that is still largely reliant on manual labor.”
Toggle has developed new hardware, software and services that work in conjunction with industrial robots and steel shop equipment to increase safety, productivity and precision in the rebar fabrication and cage assembly process. The patent-pending technology allows the company to deliver steel reinforcing products by truck at a lower cost and faster speed to concrete contractor and precast producer customers in New York City and the surrounding region.
“We’ve been fortunate to build a team that brings together deep experience and expertise from manufacturing, robotics and construction,” observes Toggle COO Ian Cohen. “We are already working with an exclusive early adopter group of customers across renewable energy, civil infrastructure and residential construction.” The company anticipates technology development progress leading toward broader commercial production over the next year and a half.