Carbon Robotics, which develops robotics powered by artificial intelligence (AI), has announced the closure of a funding round today worth US$30m (£24.1m).
The Series C financing round saw contributions from new lead investor Sozo Ventures, alongside with existing investors Anthos Capital, Fuse Venture Capital, Ignition Partners, Liquid2 and Voyager Capital.
According to Carbon Robotics, the funding will be used to expand market presence in North America and scale manufacture of the solution and develop new software and hardware products.
This most recent round of financing brings its overall funding to US$67m (£53.8m).
The LaserWeeder works by using AI to identify weeds and target them for elimination. It uses 30 high-powered CO₂ lasers use thermal energy to destroy the meristem of the weed with ‘millimetre accuracy’, without damaging nearby crops or disturbing the soil, according to Carbon Robotics.
“This financing round further supports our mission to provide cost-effective and efficient precision ag-tech tools to growers,” said Paul Mikesell, CEO and founder of Carbon Robotics. “Traditional weeding methods, including hand weeding and herbicides, are expensive, unreliable and damage soil health. The LaserWeeder uniquely addresses all of these challenges.”
The company also reports that, to date, its LaserWeeders have eliminated more than 500 million weeds across 40 different crops, with farms across 17 US states and three provinces in Canada set to introduce the solution by the end of this year.
Carbon Robotics also recently expanded the features of the LaserWeeder with its LaserThinning capability, which targets areas where vegetable crops are purposefully overseeded and then thinned for optimal crop spacing, growth and yield.
As part of the funding round, Rob Freelen from Sozo Ventures and Erik Benson with Voyager Capital will join Carbon Robotics’ board of directors.