Brian Merkel, Formerly of SpaceX, Joins to Head Manufacturing; Jen Mongeois, Formerly of Magic Leap, Heads Talent Acquisition as Company Scales for Growth
Boulder, CO - (May 24, 2022) - Scythe Robotics, the creator of advanced, commercial-grade autonomous solutions for the landscaping industry, announced today that it has surpassed 5,000 reservations for its all-electric, fully autonomous mower, Scythe M.52. Further, as the company scales alongside this significant demand, Scythe announced the appointments of Brian Merkel, formerly a head of manufacturing and production for SpaceX Starlink, as head of manufacturing for Scythe, as well as former Magic Leap lead recruiter, Jen Mongeois, as head of talent acquisition.
Founded in 2018, Scythe is transforming the $115 billion commercial landscaping industry, which despite being plagued for years by painful labor shortages has not seen substantial technological innovation in decades. Scythe has seen strong demand for M.52 with over 5,000 reservations from a broad customer base, spanning coast to coast with businesses ranging from $1 million to $100s of millions in annual revenue, including some of the largest and fastest-growing businesses in the industry.
"We are on a massive trajectory for growth," said Jack Morrison, co-founder and CEO of Scythe. "In the few short months since we announced our Series A, we have seen interest surpassing what we had imagined with a multi-year pipeline of reservation demand. Our mower, currently fielded in three states, solves labor shortages that have persisted for years and increases the productivity of landscaping crews. This all comes with the environmental benefits of zero emissions and quieter mowing, which is very important to landscapers who play a crucial role as caretakers for outdoor environments."
Scythe M.52 can double the productivity of landscaping crews while eliminating their emissions from mowing entirely—a significant benefit given that using a gas-powered mower for one hour is equivalent to driving a car over 300 miles. Scythe M.52 features a suite of sensors that enable it to operate safely in dynamic environments by identifying and responding to the presence of humans, animals, and other potential obstacles. Simultaneously, it captures property and mower performance data, which helps landscape contractors improve workflow, identify upsell opportunities, schedule more efficiently and manage labor costs.
To meet demand for Scythe M.52, Brian Merkel brings his extensive experience scaling production of manufacturing for SpaceX Starlink to his role as head of manufacturing at Scythe. During his time at SpaceX, he built and scaled a manufacturing organization of over 200 production associates, maintenance personnel and supporting staff that produced 5,000-10,000 dishes a week in its first year of operation. Brian also managed test engineering for crew and cargo Dragon capsules and served as a lead manufacturing engineer on the Merlin rocket engines and the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.
"The success of Scythe's committed reservations count showcases the pent-up demand for this technology in the landscaping industry and demonstrates M.52's ability to solve contractors' labor pains," said Brian Merkel, head of manufacturing at Scythe Robotics. "These landscaping businesses are eager to transform their operations with our technology. I'm thrilled to leverage my experience to quickly scale production and help support Scythe's important mission as we bring resources, sustainability and greater productivity to the green industry."
As head of talent acquisition, Jen Mongeois brings her more than 20 years of expertise in recruiting for technical and non-technical roles across hardware, software and field operations to Scythe. Her addition further advances Scythe's cross-functional culture and collaborative approach to product design. Among her prior roles, Jen was lead recruiter at Magic Leap, an enterprise AR technology company, where she hired over 500 employees in five years.
"It's really exciting to be part of this growing market and Scythe's uniquely collaborative culture," said Jen Mongeois, head of talent acquisition at Scythe Robotics. "Scythe's cross-functional team of world-class experts breaks down silos, enabling fast-paced innovation, while its mission attracts passionate talent looking to do meaningful work that has a positive impact on the world. I look forward to contributing to the transformation of this industry and aligning it with the interests and aspirations of the next-generation workforce."
About Scythe Robotics
Scythe Robotics provides the commercial landscaping industry with powerful commercial-grade, all-electric autonomous equipment solutions for maintaining outdoor environments. The company's first commercial mower, Scythe M.52, has the most advanced autonomy technology on the market, bringing greater precision, sustainability and scale. Scythe Robotics is headquartered in Boulder County, Colorado. Find out more at https://scytherobotics.com