Drone developer American Robotics has raised $1.1 million in seed funding led by a group of angel investors and Brain Robotics Capital, a fund that invests in artificial intelligence and robotics.
The first seed round for the company, it will be used to further develop American Robotics’ integrated drone system for commercial farming and to expand its team, which is currently based in the MassRobotics collaboration space in Boston, an emerging hub for robotics startups.
“Our mission is to expand the possibilities of precision agriculture,” Reese Mozer, co-founder and CEO of American Robotics, said in a statement. “Farmers are looking to automation to help tackle the issue of producing more food to support the growing population in a more sustainable way.”
The US agricultural industry loses billions of dollars of crops annually to preventable problems. For instance, farmers lose 12 percent of their crops annually to pests and another 12 percent to disease, according to data cited by American Robotics.
The investment community – and the agri community more specifically – views drones as a potentially revolutionary new tool to help solve these issues.
However, after a dip in agri drone investment in 2016, industry sources have told Agri Investor that companies need to develop a full-service product in order to achieve success. According to Brain Robotics Capital, that’s what American Robotics is offering.
“There are many drone companies in the world, and it’s no surprise that it is a red ocean market,” Pei Qi, founding partner at Brain Robotics Capital, said in a statement. “American Robotics is one of very few who can provide a real full stack of solutions for a very specific application field. More importantly, the team understands the business rather than just the technology.”