Startup company Naïo Technologies has raised €14 million in a new funding round to develop and expand its farming robots business.
After a first round of €3 million in 2015, the French start-up Naïo Technologies specialized in agricultural robots, announces the closing of a €14 million funding round led by Bpifrance.
Impact investor Pymwymic and Codema and its historical shareholders, Demeter and Capagro, flanked Bpifrance in this investment round.
The French company, founded in 2011 by robotic engineers Aymeric Barthes and Gaëtan Séverac, manufactures and markets agricultural solutions in close collaboration with farmers.
Their weeding robots respect both the environment and man: they provide a solution to assist farmers in their daily work, reduce the strenuous physical workload and limit the use of chemical weedkillers.
This new investment round will enable Naïo Technologies to further capitalize on its position as a leader in agricultural robotics and reach the next level of technology maturity in order to prepare the robots for mass production.
Aymeric Barthès, CEO of Naïo Technologies, says: “During the past years, we have made a lot of progress on navigation, user experience and security aspects. This makes our robots a solid base for precision farming.
“Our next step is to focus on further increase of the reliability of our robots as well as develop an efficient and large-scale deployment strategy.”
Nearly 150 robots (three models – Oz, Dino and Ted) are already deployed at farms and vineyards both in Europe and in North America.
The promise of contributing to more sustainable agricultural practices, combined with the company’s ability to demonstrate market readiness over the past 18 months, have contributed to the successful closing of this funding round.
Continuously innovation allows the company to handle different crops types. To do so, Naïo Technologies has developed a standard navigation system for agricultural robots.
This navigation system can be implemented on any off-road robot which allows to address many crop types.
Gaëtan Séverac, co-founder of Naïo Technologies, says: “In the next 10 years, there will be robots in every fields of Europe and North America.
“We recognize that the challenge is very ambitious, but we are convinced that we can meet it alongside our partners and stakeholders. Our goal is to ensure the ecological and social transition to sustainable agriculture.”
Laura Panquet, Ecotechnologies Fund of Bpifrance, says: “We are very proud to announce our investment in Naïo Technologies as pioneer in agricultural field robotics.
“Naïo enables farmers to transition their farms using the rise in precision farming and sustainable farming, and allows them to meet both customer demand and current and forthcoming regulatory constraints regarding the limitation of chemical inputs in the fields.”
In a joint statement, Riadh Shaiek, partner at Demeter, and Tom Espiard, managing partner at Capagro, say: “Demeter and Capagro are very excited by this new financing round that will provide Naio with additional means to pursue a growing ag-robotics market while maintaining its leadership position.
“We also welcome the participation of new and prominent investors that confirms the vision and attractive prospects we both shared about Naio when Demeter and Capagro first invested in the company at seed stage in 2015.”
Monique Meulemans, investment manager at Pymwymic, says: “It is our ambition to change systems for the better of people and planet and we are very proud to join Naïo on this journey.
“What sets Naïo apart is their commitment to make a difference in the daily practice of farmers and their drive for innovation to create more sustainable farming.”