Aerobotics Smart Agriculture Startup Company Scores $17 Million From Investors in Series B

By James White Saturday, January 30, 2021

In times where the world’s food production is crucially needed to support our rapidly expanding population, agritech startup company Aerobotics raised $30 million from investors to improve its smart agriculture technology. Those involved in the latest Series B round included lead investor Naspers Foundry, Cathay AfricInvest Innovation, FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and Platform Investment Partners. Naspers Foundry is an investment firm supporting South African-focused entrepreneurs and businesses with technology that can solve society’s biggest challenges.

Farmer using a tablet to direct agriculture technology.

Contributing to the Second Green Revolution

Entrepreneurs James Paterson and Benji Meltzer founded Aerobotics in 2014. With experience in engineering and ambition for innovation, the two created the smart agriculture startup company with the mission to modernize the agriculture business and improve yields for farmers.

“Food security is of paramount importance in South Africa, and the Aerobotics platform provides a positive contribution towards helping to sustain it,” Naspers South Africa CEO Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa said. “This type of tech innovation addresses societal challenges and is exactly the type of early-stage company that Naspers Foundry looks to back.”

Utilizing a combination of aerial flight and AI technology, the agritech startup company, based out of Cape Town, South Africa, seeks to bring the industry into the modern age. The company sends drones to capture aerial imagery of crop fields and orchards. As the images come in, they are analyzed by AI technology that detects anomalies in the health of individuals or groups of plants.

Recognition software assists in identifying problematic plants as well as the symptoms and potential causes. Those utilizing the service offered by the startup company can access these assessments through an app and quickly address the problem before it harms the crop or spreads to other plants. Furthermore, the AI technology can also be used to estimate the yield of crops.

The agricultural business has always been exceptionally important. However, as we continue to face global challenges such as rapid population growth and climate change, it is crucial that the industry keeps up and increases yield. Technology from businesses like Aerobotics’s startup company will be crucial to meet the world’s food demand, and investors know this.

Market research reports that the global smart agriculture market size was about $16.7 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2021 to 2027. Ceres Imaging, another aerial imagery business focused on assisting farmers, raised a total of $35.5 million from investors since its founding in 2014.

Summary

Aerobotics, an agritech startup company, raised $30 million in Series B funding. The business seeks to apply drone and AI technology to the agricultural industry in order to improve yield and assist farmers. The business stands to benefit from the need of the agricultural businesses to support an ever-growing population as investors readily fund the smart agriculture industry.

“We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimize automation, minimize inputs, and maximize production,” Paterson said. “We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders.

About the Author


Headshot for author James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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