RedZone Robotics closes on $8.5M - Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, February 23, 2012

RedZone Robotics closes on $8.5M

RedZone Robotics Inc. has raised $8.5 million from Switzerland-based FourWinds Capital Management and Pittsburgh-based Smithfield Trust Co. 

With this investment, it brings the round, which started late last summer, up to $34 million. FourWinds, through its Waste Resources Fund, led this stage of the round with $6.5 million and Smithfield put in $2 million.

RedZone plans to use the series C funding to further expand its products and geographic reach, the company said.

“It was our plan to bring a water expert onto the board and to open up additional funds for our series C,” said RedZone CEO Eric Close. With the investment from FourWinds, the company achieves both goals.

As part of the deal, Valerie Daoud Henderson of FourWinds joins the RedZone board. FourWinds specializes in global commodities and natural resources investing with expertise in areas including water and waste.

When the company closed on the first part of the round in September, Close said, the team was looking for an expert water investor but just didn’t know who it would be.

As far as the business, Close said it is going well and the company is up to a total of 85 employees and has a “very, very aggressive plan” in place. He added the company is continuing to hire.

The company has developed robotics that can inspect underground infrastructure as well as gather and interpret data that allows municipalities and other organizations to make informed maintenance decisions.

RedZone continues to add customers, Close said, and is now in more than 250 municipalities worldwide.

“It’s a very good time for RedZone,” Close said. “The needs are enormous.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. needs to spend between $13 billion and $20.9 billion annually between 2000 and 2019 on wastewater infrastructure needs.

In this time of tight budgets, the spending is questionable, so wasterwater managers must make strategic decisions, and Close says his technology can help.

“New technology has clearly shown to be vital to advancements in every industry throughout the world, unfortunately the extent of technological innovation seen in other industries has bypassed our aging wastewater industry, which has for too long remained out of sight and therefore out of mind,” said Henderson of FourWinds in a written statement. “We are excited to now be a part of the continued growth and success of RedZone.”


Article courtesy of Pittsburgh Business Times