Canvas, a construction robotics company in its early stages of business development, has attracted funding from investors.
The company combines robotic technology with trained union workers for drywall finishing. Canvas says its tech reduces average finishing times from seven days to two. Canvas recently announced it raised $24 million in Series B investor funding.
Funding was led by Marlo Ventures and included investment from Suffolk Construction with participation from Alumni Ventures Group and existing investors Innovation Endeavors, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Grit Labs.
Canvas plans to use the funding to advance the development of its drywalling robot.
According to a press release:
Canvas helps customers deliver unmatched quality, superior control over schedules, and safer working conditions on their projects.
"Since our launch last fall, we've seen incredible demand for the Canvas system and our unique ability to set the bar on quality, safety, and predictability," says Kevin Albert, CEO and co-founder of Canvas.
Canvas launched out of stealth in November 2020, following three years building out its patent portfolio and working in partnership with leading builders and District Council 16 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades to improve its approach.
"Canvas' solution dramatically improves the timeliness, safety, quality, and cost of finishing (drywall) in construction, a trade that has been starved for innovation for over 50 years, until now," says Matt Murphy, partner at Menlo Ventures.
Canvas has started by focusing on drywall finishing, one of the most labor-intensive, unpredictable, and congested parts of the construction process. The company's approach combines the skills and expertise of trained union workers with robotics technology.
"At Suffolk, we pride ourselves on redefining what is possible by innovating, investing, and building – we therefore share an aligned worldview with Canvas," says Jit Kee Chin, chief data and innovation officer and executive vice president at Suffolk.
Alpha Builders Group
Level 5 Finish
Traditionally, architects and developers have been constrained in specifying the highest-quality finishes due to the schedule risk and shortage of skilled labor. Canvas delivers better than Level 5 finish, what the company calls Machine-Finished Level 5, while improving workflow and scheduling.
At the same time, Canvas's approach provides safer working conditions by eliminating high work and repetitive motion that leads to falls and musculoskeletal injuries. Through its focus on safety and cutting-edge technology, Canvas supports efforts by the union and offers an exciting career path that will draw more workers, including more women and minorities, into the trade.
"At Swinerton, innovation is about changing how we deliver construction services," says Brent Christensen, field operations manager at Swinerton. "The evolution of the construction industry is widely known to be slow in adapting to new technologies, but Canvas is changing the future of our business by leaps and bounds. Teaming with Canvas on our clients' projects is an exciting way to lead the charge, increasing the safety and quality of drywall finishing in our industry. Perfecting the Level 5 finish application is substantial, especially when you consider the potential cost savings by offering more control over the schedule."
Adoption of Canvas has accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis, as owners and builders continue to look to differentiate on quality in the tight labor market and competitive construction environment. In addition, with the growing adoption of digital and remote workflows, Canvas offers the opportunity to directly tap into job workflow, progress, and quality keeping project teams informed at all times from anywhere.