Artificial Intelligence: Aerobotics Raises $17M In Naspers-Led Round

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Aerobotics provides valuable data on crops enabled by drone imagery and AI.

Cape Town-based Aerobotics, a startup that uses AI for the management of orchards, yield, pest and disease, and problem tree identification, raised $17 million. The oversubscribed Series B round was led by VC giant Naspers with participation from Platform Investment Partners, FMO: Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation. (VentureBurn)

Benzi Meltzer and James Paterson founded Aerobotics in 2014 in Cape Town. The firm is now recognized as a leader in the use of artificial intelligence in agriculture.

How Aerobotics uses AI and drone imagery

A farm owner needs to create an account on Aeroview, the firm’s web-based platform. Upon providing the farm’s location, the customer receives three years of satellite data.

On ordering a drone flight, Aerobotics will deploy a drone pilot to fly three times throughout the season. Using multispectral, high-resolution drone imagery, the farm owner can now track the sizes and health of trees in their orchard.

The farm owner can identify the areas needing attention using Aerobotics’ historical satellite health data. They can also inspect these problem locations in the field using the Aeroview InField mobile app.

The AI-based analytics platform by Aerobotics enables the farmer to make data-driven decisions using its reporting tool. It consolidates the infield findings and issues alerts on areas needing attention.

Detection of early-stage problems on farms helps farmers to intervene before pest infestation or disease gets out of hand.

In a statement, James Paterson, CEO at Aerobotics said: “We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimize automation, minimize inputs and maximize production. We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders.”

Solid growth

Aerobotics’ services have become sought-after as the global agricultural industry strives to meet the challenges of rising food demand from a growing population around the world.

“Aerobotics has experienced record growth in the last few years,” the company said. “In the United States alone, the company’s revenue has grown in excess of an order of magnitude.”

The company intends to use the new funds from the Series B round to further develop its technological prowess and enhance its product delivery in the United States and other core focus geographical areas.

Related Story:  Machine Learning To Help in High-Throughput Germination Analysis                                                

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