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Wednesday 22 June 2022

Backers spray dosh on Q-Bot to generate more foam

picThis is not ‘merch’ from whatever is the current intergalactic space movie to put under the Christmas tree for your kids. Unless you’d like to have the underside of your floorboards sprayed with insulating foam, that is.

logoBut you can’t buy these robots. They're part of the service available from Wandsworth, London-based Q-Bot. And they're smart. They crawl under your floorboards mapping out the terrain in 3D, and then spray 12cm of insulating foam on the underside. The whole process takes a couple of days for a typical house.

There’s an extensive FAQ page on Q-Bot’s website which tells you just about everything you want to know except the most important question – how much does it cost? For that you have to ask for a quote.

Q-Bot was founded in 2012 by ‘greentech’ construction engineer, Tomasz (Tom) Lipinski (CIO), and Peter Childs (Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman), Professorial Lead in Engineering Design at Imperial College London. Lipinski is also technical director of Ventive, an ‘intelligent ventilation’ start-up he founded in 2011.

So who’s Q-Bot’s CEO you ask? Well, that used to be entrepreneur and former Imperial College tutor, Mathew Holloway, who is listed as a cofounder but left the business in November 2021. He now leads Exeter-based automated vehicle inspection start-up, DeGould. So I guess Lipinski and Childs share CEO duties – which I have always said is never a good look.

Q-Bot has raised modest amounts of dosh over the years, and just recently a £1.6m round led by EMV Capital, which had also led a £2.8m transaction in December 2021 through which Holloway and other founders exited. Q-Bot is 20.6% owned by AIM-listed life sciences and sustainability technology investor, NetScientific, and sits on its books at a £13.5m valuation. Q-Bot turned over £2.2m in the year to 31/3/22.

There’s much more to Q-Bot than its foam-spraying buggy. The platform can also be used to scan building infrastructure to create a BIM (digital building information model). A version of Q-Bot that can apply insulation to walls is also under development.

Q-Bot is a great example of UK innovation at the intersect of construction technology and climate change mitigation. They’ve built 25 robots so far and the new funding will help their scale-up ambitions. But I only wonder what they could achieve with ten-times that amount of dosh? Is it lack of ambition – or just cautious backers?

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:23

Tags: funding   startup  

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