Technology firm Robin Autopilot USA, known for the software that powers robotic lawn mowers, will consolidate its corporate headquarters with its recently acquired franchise Mowbot and relocate to McKinney.
The move is funded by a grant from the McKinney Economic Development Corp.’s Innovation Fund, marking its largest relocation to date. The economic development group did not disclose the grant amount.
The emissions-free robotic mowing service will move 17 positions to McKinney and intends to create 58 new jobs with an average salary of $90,000 over the next three years.
Robin Autopilot is a robotics-as-a-service business supplying energy-efficient and programmable battery-powered mowers for landscaping. Robin’s goal is a more “reliable, affordable, and eco-friendly lawn care solution” than traditional gasoline-powered mowers.
The robotic lawn mower market is expected to grow by $697 million over the next five years to a market valued at more than $1 billion, according to Robin.
Robin acquired its 16-franchise competitor Mowbot last month with plans to relocate 12 of Mowbot’s Durham, N.C.-based employees to North Texas. Robin was previously based in Irving and had also considered headquarters in Plano and Frisco, before landing in McKinney.
Robin Autopilot CEO Logan Fahey said in an email statement that Fahey Group, which owns a majority stake in Robin, wants to establish itself in the Texas market and a location in McKinney offers exactly what the company needs at its current stage.
“We are experiencing tremendous growth as robots-as-a-service takes off in North America and require both increased office space and access to outdoor turf — all of which is prevalent in McKinney,” Fahey said. “We see tremendous upside in McKinney and the surrounding markets and look forward to scaling our operations and getting involved in the local community.”
McKinney’s innovation fund is part of an effort to attract new business and jobs to the city. So far, the fund has successfully helped relocate 18 businesses to McKinney in 15 months.
Danny Chavez, senior vice president for MEDC, said McKinney’s goal is to become a “tech hub,” building off of a history of tech start-ups founded in the city such as the app Words With Friends.
“This is a huge opportunity,” Chavez said. “I think the company is kind of that next step in level where we’re trying to work with larger-scale startups/quasi tech companies that could become that next large business.”