A Swiss company called EcoRobotix has raised $11 million in Series B financing to further develop and market its farming or gardening robot.
Founded in 2011, EcoRobotix develops autonomous weeding robots, which help farmers to produce healthier food with a more efficient and sustainable use of herbicides.
After having successfully carried out pilot projects in Switzerland and Europe, and achieved key research and development milestones, the company closed a CHF 10.6 million ($11 million) Series B financing round recently.
Capagro and BASF Venture Capital led the round, along with a new private financing partner.
Existing investor 4FO Ventures, as well as private investors from Business Angels Switzerland and Investiere, also contributed, renewing their confidence in ecoRobotix’s business potential.
EcoRobotix says the new funds will be used to achieve European market entry.
Aurélien Demaurex, CEO and co-founder of EcoRobotix, says: “After a successful Series A round of CHF 3 million in 2016, EcoRobotix is now entering a second phase of its existence, which is to grow into an international commercial company.
“In addition to our historic investment partners, we are glad to see the interest of new European investors such as Capagro and BASF Venture Capital, who will contribute significantly to achieving our market access objectives”, he adds.
Bénédicte Monpert, partner at Capagro, says: “Robotics in agriculture represents a great opportunity to help farmers improve their profitability and their environmental impact.
“We are very pleased to work with such a great and dedicated team, and to help ecoRobotix introduce its sustainable agriculture products on the market, starting in Europe.”
Markus Solibieda, managing director at BASF Venture Capital, says: “We support our customers and society with chemistry that makes optimal use of available resources, and are working to integrate sustainability increasingly in all our business processes.
“One part of this is the investment in Artificial Intelligence-based technology platforms like the one offered by EcoRobotix. We are looking forward to being part of this new opportunity.”
EcoRobotix’s first-round lead investor, 4FO ventures, represented by Dr Jean-Pierre Rosat, adds: “We are delighted to be joined by these two renowned and reputable investors specialized in agritech. This second round of financing is a success for ecoRobotics as well as for our early-stage fund.”
ecoRobotix’s proprietary and cutting-edge technology offers a concrete solution in terms of both ecology and economy for the farming world.
Animated by artificial intelligence and robotics, ecoRobotix says its solar-powered robots are capable of spraying unwanted plants with precision.
This reduces the quantity of herbicides and the number of working hours needed to weed crops, consequently lowering costs for farmers, adds the company.
EcoRobotix adds that this latest investment will allow it to expand its product portfolio and to reach market acceptance in key European countries, “the next step toward the world’s multi-billion-dollar weeding market”.