Robotics Company ViaBot Raises $6.1 Million

By Dan Anderson • May 27, 2021
  • ViaBot — a robotics startup bringing maintenance and management automation to large properties — announced its public launch with $6.1 million in funding. These are the details.

ViaBot — a robotics startup bringing maintenance and management automation to large properties — announced its public launch with $6.1 million in funding. And as part of the launch, it also disclosed a key strategic partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, which has deployed ViaBot’s RUNO robots to properties in the Bay Area for sweeping and security services. ViaBot is backed by Baseline Ventures, Morado Ventures, and Grit Ventures and partnered with SOSV.

Based in San Francisco, ViaBot was founded by Gregg Ratanaphanyarat and Andre Ding in 2016 while both were undergraduate students at Penn State. And they observed that outdoor maintenance for consumers and commercial property managers alike was a yearlong problem — one that would seemingly be ideally suited to robotics. Many property management companies report accountability and cost challenges, labor shortages, and a need for digitization — dynamics that have only accelerated throughout the pandemic as office parks sat empty.

Even though outdoor maintenance has historically been underserved by the robotics industry. Developers typically focus on just one problem area — avoiding the so-called Swiss Army knife problem — but to be commercially viable, building managers need multiple services. And ViaBot takes a modular approach to overcome this tension, addressing multiple needs through its first-of-its-kind facility maintenance and management robot-as-a-service.

RUNO was designed to clean and automatically dump its debris as well as autonomous battery hot swapping. And at the same time it performs this work, it is also able to do soft security monitoring, a program currently in beta. RUNO’s built-in sensors scan and escalate suspicious activity to security teams. For example, if a car has been parked in the same place for several days, it will trip RUNO’s flags. And the robots have multiple cameras and sonar sensors and use GPS to help navigate.


“We’re excited to announce our public launch to scale our Robots-as-a-Service for property management. We founded ViaBot with a mission to address the dirty, dull and dangerous jobs of outdoor work, and we’re thrilled that our multifunctional robots are offering better solutions to the challenges facing property managers today.”

— Gregg Ratanaphanyarat, CEO and Co-founder of ViaBot

“We pride ourselves on maintaining pristine, sustainable, friendly environments across our portfolio. We’re excited by ViaBot’s vision to help digitize property management and the fact that RUNO takes on more challenging aspects of our operations while also increasing cadence and output through automation and multitasking. Partnering with ViaBot has been a refreshing and fun aspect in my day to day.”

— Andrew Rivlin, Sustainable Environments & Habitats Manager at Cushman & Wakefield

“ViaBot has taken one of the least sexy industries in the world and brought it right into the future; facility management needed a reason to adopt technology and ViaBot was the solution that finally broke through the noise. ViaBot is already working with many of the largest real estate companies in the United States. It’s gratifying pulling onto a Fortune 500 campus and seeing RUNO sweeping, scanning license plates and more. And even more recently — ViaBot robots were able to take on additional hazardous duties, including sweeping at a vaccination site.”

— Kelly Coyne, Founding Partner at Grit Ventures

“In just a few short years, the ViaBot team has countered the prevailing narrative in robotics, showing that robots can in fact evolve and perform more than a single function — and therefore better meet the needs of the properties and communities they serve. Gregg and Andre have been building robots for most of their lives and have the rare ability to build and iterate while also orienting toward greater impact. We’re confident that this team has the potential to scale to serve millions of properties across the country in new and better ways.”

— Steve Anderson, Founder of Baseline Ventures