ecoRobotix, the Swiss startup producing AI-based ultra-high precision farming solutions, has just raised $14.7 million in support of the next stage of its development and expansion. The funding was led by Swisscom Ventures, a subsidiary of Swiss telecom giant Swisscom, and featured further support from ecoRobotix’s previous investors, such as CapAgro, 4FO Ventures, and BASF Venture Capital.
ecoRobotix’s current main focus is a fully autonomous weed-killer, dubbed the ARA. The ARA was developed in Y-parc, Yverdon-les-Bains, with the use of the state-of-the-art resources of Y-Start, an incubator for innovative new technologies. Lightweight and low cost, the ARA provides a more efficient plant-protection system for food producers than the current methods of weed spraying, using high speed cameras and machine learning to selectively spray weeds with a small dose of herbicide, accurate to areas as small as 3×8 cm.
“ecoRobotix solutions not only assist producers in reducing their use of plant protection products by up to 95%, but also in lowering their operating costs. This enables the production of high-quality crops and non-contaminated food at affordable prices. Our health matters, from field to fork!” said Dominique Megret, Head of Swisscom Ventures.
This new product helps food producers dramatically lower their plant-protection costs, while making use of sustainable technology to reduce strain on the environment, including features designed to protect useful insects such as bees. Ultimately, the new technology will also greatly benefit the average consumer, as the farming produce will be significantly less contaminated by herbicide. CTO and Co-founder Steve Tanner added, “ecoRobotix has developed a unique technology combining Artificial Intelligence and ultra-high precision spot spraying for tomorrow’s farming, enabling the unprecedented reduction of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.”
With its progressive combination of cost-saving automation and environmentally sustainable features, usage of the ARA is increasing dramatically. “We tripled our sales during the last few months and are experiencing enthusiastic feedback from our customers,” commented Claude Juriens, CBO of ecoRobotix.
This new phase of investment will allow ecoRobotix to massively increase production of the ARA, while continuing its forward-thinking research and development into new sustainable farming solutions, including collaborating with Swisscom to develop relevant cloud-based services, making use of the telecom company’s 5G expertise.