A company developing robotic pickers for soft fruit harvesting has announced the receipt of £1.5m as part of a funding round worth reportedly more than £2m.
According to a company statement, the firm is now valued at £6.7m post-money.
The raspberry-picking robots are currently picking fruit in Portugal at farms run by the Summer Berry Company, customers of which include supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S.
The recipient of the funding, Cambridge-based Fieldwork Robotics, which expects to raise a further amount of up to £600,000 is via a Seedrs’ funding round, which opened today [10 August 2023].
David Fulton has been appointed as CEO of Fieldwork Robotics, whereas Rui Andres, former CEO of Fieldwork, will continue as full-time CEO of fellow Frontier IP portfolio company, Molendotech.
Funds will be used to grow the companies staff, outsource production and increase interest from farmers in its robotics-as-a-service offering.
Read more: The rise of robotics-as-a-service
What’s more, the company also hopes to increase the harvesting speed of its robots and have more than 100 robots available to farmers by 2025.
Neil Crabb, CEO of Froniter IP, said: “We are delighted with Elbow Beach Capital’s support for Fieldwork Robotics and the appointment of David Fulton as the Company’s CEO.
“I look forward to the successful completion of the funding round through Seedrs and to Fieldwork’s future success.”
Financing came from Elbow Beach Capital, a private investment company focused on decarbonisation and sustainable start-ups and projects,