American Robotics, a Boston-based drone developer specializing in agricultural automation, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding.
The round was led by angel investors and included Brain Robotics Capital LLC, a fund focused on science-backed companies in the artificial intelligence, robotics and Internet of Things industries.
The funding will be used to further develop American Robotics’ integrated drone system for commercial farming and to expand the team. This is the first seed round for the company, which was founded by alumni from Carnegie Mellon and Stanford universities. The company plans to pilot its product this summer.
According to American Robotics, the U.S. agricultural industry loses billions of dollars of crops annually to preventable problems and spends billions in chemicals, water and other inputs fighting this loss. Because traditional scouting solutions are not adequate, farmers are looking to automation and big data to improve agricultural decision-making and yields, the company says.
“Our mission is to expand the possibilities of precision agriculture,” explains Reese Mozer, co-founder and CEO of American Robotics. “Farmers are looking to automation to help tackle the issue of producing more food to support the growing population in a more sustainable way. To do that, they need a reliable tool. We are employing cutting-edge automation, intelligence and an [Industrial Internet of Things] mindset to develop a practical, turnkey solution.”
“There are many drone companies in the world, and it’s no surprise that it is a red ocean market,” adds Pei Qi, founding and managing partner at Brain Robotics Capital. “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. That’s why we believe they can define the new standard in agriculture.”