Latest Commercial Drone Fund Investment Goes to Precision Ag Sector

Airware’s Commercial Drone Fund has announced an investment in Raptor Maps, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company developing a drone-enabled technology platform for the agriculture sector.

The Commercial Drone Fund is a venture capital-structured fund focused on early-stage start-ups developing technologies that are critical to scaling the use of commercial drones.

With the use of drones, tractor-mounted sensors and software, Raptor Maps has created an affordable system for farmers to precisely map, analyze and measure the quality of crops at critical times during the growing season, explains the company.

In turn, farmers can know the conditions that will maximize crop yield – allowing them to make more informed decisions and reduce unnecessary cost and labor. A number of specialty crop growers across the U.S. and Canada have successfully implemented Raptor Maps’ technology this growing season, the company notes.

“The agriculture sector has been an early adopter of commercial drone technology, with several companies now offering products for monitoring crops,” states John Kolaczynski, head of corporate development for the Commercial Drone Fund. “What impressed us with Raptor Maps’ product is that it collects a vast amount of data, distills it down and correlates actions that a grower can take on a season-to-season basis – something we haven’t seen in other drone products. We believe this is a great product for the agriculture sector that can drive increased yields and reduced costs for growers.”

Raptor Maps also allows farmers to perform statistical analysis for A/B testing to compare and optimize various inputs for fruits and vegetables. The company is currently developing a software tool that works for all crops.

Other companies the Commercial Drone Fund has invested in include Sky-Futures and Redbird (which Airware recently acquired).


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