South Africa based startup Aerobotics, uses Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze and process satellite and drone imagery to give agriculture insights to farmers.
Aerobotics has announced it has successfully closed a Series A funding round of about $2 million. Some of the angel investors in this funding round include Nedbank Group, 4Di Capital, AngelList, and AgFunder.
Last year, the startup was among the 20 most promising digital startups in Africa to be selected to the XL Africa residency. A flagship business acceleration program launched in April 2016 by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program.
“From preventing the spread of pests and disease to ensuring optimum irrigation and nutrition levels, the early detection of these problems can mean the difference between producing a profitable harvest, or not,” said James Paterson, the CEO of Aerobotics.
“We use aerial imagery and machine learning algorithms to do just this – provide insightful data on the performance of tree crops so that farmers can take the necessary steps to rectify any issues before they actually become a problem. With the insights gathered from our in-field scouting App, Aeroview, we could help offer Farmers insurance and financing options based on their crop status.”
Over the last four years, Aerobotics has been growing a team of top technical, agricultural, and commercial talent. The startup has partnered with some of the best farmers in South Africa who have been helping them validate, build, and deploy their agritech solutions.
In addition to taking part in the XL-Africa accelerator, Aerobotics also took part in the StartupBootcamp InsurTech program in London, which happened in 2017. Out of the 24 startups in the program, Aerobotics was picked to take part in the Google Launchepad accelerator program for 2018.
“There is no doubt that the South African agriculture industry plays an important role in job creation and foreign exchange and that there is potential to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product. Pre-empting serious agricultural challenges for our farmers is a massive step towards achieving this and is something funders clearly recognize,” added Patterson.
The startup will be using part of the $2 million funding to scale its operation across the globe over the next one year. Aerobatics plans to launch in the USA, starting with Florida this August 2018.