Swiss agri-tech company Ecorobotix has secured US$52m (£41.5m) in funding to accelerate growth of its smart sprayer system, which is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), in its largest capital raise to date.
The company’s flagship product is ARA, an AI powered plant-by-plant recognition and ultra-high precision smart spraying system.
What’s more, the Swiss company is also a Certified B Corporation, with its founding goal being to improve agricultural practices by reducing chemical and energy use and impact on soil.
The round was jointly led by Aqton Private Equity GmbH (Aqton) and Cibus Capital LLP, with additional investments from Swisscanto Invest/Swisscanto Growth Fund I, Yara Growth Ventures, Flexstone Partners, among others.
Funding will be used to accelerate Ecorobotix’s expansion into new and existing markets and accelerate new product development, according to a company statement.
“We are proud to be working with investors who clearly see the environmental benefits of our ultra-high precision technology,” said Simon Aspinall, CEO of Ecorobotix.
“With these new investments, we will deliver ARA to more farmers, in more markets, increasing agricultural productivity while protecting the environment and reducing CO2 impact.”
Ecorobotix currently operates in 15 European markets, with the new capital intended to expedite the growth of ARA worldwide, particularly in the Americas.
Some of the reported benefits of ARA include saving farmers money, while also reducing input costs by about 70-95%, including increasing crop yields, reducing the soil impact and preserving biodiversity.
Stefan Quandt, owner of Aqton, said: “I’m looking forward to helping grow businesses like Ecorobotix which are having a positive impact on agriculture and the environment.
“Ultra-high precision agriculture and solutions like ARA from Ecorobotix are critical to improving farmer efficiency and helping move towards an eco-friendlier future.”
The capital raised included US$48.3M (£38.6m) of new equity and US$3.4M (£2.7m) of new financing from the FOEN Swiss Technology Fund.