ecoRobotix, a Swiss startup focused on the Al-based ultra-high precision farming solution, has raised $14.7 Million for its next stage of development and expansion.
The funding round was led by Swisscom Venture, a Swisscom-backed company, along with ecoRobotix’s previous investors, like CapAgro, 4FO Ventures, and BASF Venture Capital. Swisscom is a large Swiss telecom company.
Currently, ecoRobotix is focusing on producing a fully autonomous weed-killer, called ARA. Developed in Y-parc, Yverdon-les-Bains, the ARA research process uses state-of-the-art resources at Y-Start which is an incubator for innovative new technologies.
Not only is it lightweight and low cost, but the weed-killer also provides a more efficient plant-production system for food producers than current methods of weed spraying.
Thanks to the use of high-speed cameras and machine learning to selectively spray weeds with a small dose of herbicide, which is accurate to areas as small as 3×8 cm, it is far less harmful to the environment.
The new product helps food producers significantly reduce their plant-protection costs, while taking full advantage of sustainable technology to decrease the impact on the environment, including features designed to protect useful insects such as bees.
In addition, since the farming produce will be less contaminated by herbicide, consumers would benefit from health protection built into the food crop growing process.
The head of Swisscom Ventures, Dominique Megret, commented,
“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!”
The combination of cost-saving automation and environmentally sustainable features make the ARA an interesting technology. According to the CBO of ecoRobotix Claude Juriens, the company’s sales have tripled during the last few months.
The new phase of investment will allow ecoRobotix to increase production of the ARA while continuing research and development into new sustainable farming solutions, including partnering with Swisscom to develop relevant cloud-based services by using the telecom company’s 5G expertise.