Announcing our Investment in Okibo: The Robot for Finish Works

A photo of Okibo's robot in action

We are excited to announce our latest investment in Okibo. We are excited to announce our latest investment in Okibo, as a part of a $7.85M financing round, which Shadow co-led with BitStone Capital. Okibo is a Tel Aviv based construction robotics company that has built one of the first fully autonomous “finishing” robots in construction – focused on painting, drywalling, and plastering walls.

Here’s a video of Okibo’s fully autonomous paint robot in action.

So, why did we invest?

Robots Can Save The Trades

Much ink has been spilled over the current labor shortage in construction, but to distill the challenge to a few overwhelming data points:

  • We need to fill 500,000 job openings in 2024 to match project demand
  • As a result of this supply / demand gap, labor costs are up 25%
  • Sadly, even after increases in pay rates, 60% of projects still experience delays because of labor constraints.


Simply put, the single biggest problem in construction is finding reliable, skilled labor for a reasonable cost.

We can theorize around the recruiting strategies, immigration policies, or even deflationary economic scenarios, that might attract a new wave of workers to enlist in skilled construction trades and fill the supply gap, but unfortunately, theories won’t complete projects today.

The problem will not get easier with time. Approximately 20% of the current pool of skilled labor is 55 years of age or older and is set to retire soon.

If enough human labor won’t support current demand for labor and the future equation is even harder to fill, we must ask as a society: how on earth will we complete critically important buildings and infrastructure projects and sustain economic growth?

The answer is: robots.

Robots assisted by low-skilled human operators can bridge the productivity gap by completing the most tedious of construction tasks many multiples faster, at a significant cost reduction, with better accuracy, and reduced safety concerns.

Okibo’s Differentiation

Okibo’s robotic system is unique from others in the marketplace because it is fully autonomous today.

Full autonomy (meaning, the robot can perform work with little to no human invention) was possible due to their advanced 3D perception (e.g. continuously scans the area and creates a real-time model of the environment) coupled with A.I. driven work and motion planning. These concepts are patented and among the most mature capabilities we have seen in jobsite robots.

To use Okibo, a single worker simply needs to guide the robot to the room using a control pad, fill the paint, start the robot, and monitor output with light touch ups where needed. No manual programing or prior information of the indoor structure is required.

Okibo also finds differentiation through a platform approach. They’ve designed their robots to be synchronized multi-axis, fully independent units: not constrained by any cables or external material feeding. While their first applications are focused on painting (both sprayer and roller), coating, and sanding, the future is wide open as a platform for jobsite robotics.

Additional end effectors can easily be added to the robot, and when coupled with their autonomous motion control, create a powerful solution for many additional jobsite tasks.

50% Cheaper, 10x Faster

The value prop for Okibo is clear and obvious: one robot costs 50% less than human labor and can produce work up to 10x faster.

For example, one Okibo robot is now capable of painting 350 square meters (~3,700 square feet) per hour, which can provide up to a 10x speed improvement over a human painter.

You can extend similar economics and speed improvements to other finish works applications.


Israel is known for producing the world's best robotics science disciplines, so it's no surprise that a highly technical founding team with previous robotics experience is leading Okibo.

Guy German and Nadav Shuruk are co-founders with previous startup experience who worked together for several years at a robotics company in Israel. CTO Ron Danon and Chief Algo Officer Lior Zaibel boast impressive technical resumes that continue to push advancements in Okibo’s underlying technology. The entire leadership team has been working on Okibo since 2018.

Shadow's Value to Okibo

One core value we are adamant about at Shadow is to not make investments where we cannot provide value.

As a built environment focused venture capital firm, our unique value to Okibo extends well beyond capital infusion.

Shadow will primarily assist with leading Okibo's US expansion. Our network of LPs and partners, deeply entrenched in the specialty contracting and finishing business, positions us to facilitate key customer introductions, potentially securing Okibo's first pilot projects in the US market. Okibo's disruptive technology, combined with our strategic support, makes the company a formidable force in shaping the future of construction robotics in the US.

We’re joining a fantastic group of investors including BitStone Capital, Saint Gobain, Yanushevky Group, Pi Labs, and Builtup Ventures.

Our sleeves are rolled, painting shoes on. We’re excited to get to work.

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