Burro first crossed our path at our 2020 robotics event, when the agtech company participated in our presentation. The company (which went by the significantly less fun Augean name) appears to be making headway around the world, announcing a $ 10.9 million increase in Series A this week. S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures led the round, which was also attended by F-Prime and ADM Capital, who joined existing investors Radicle Growth and ffVC.
The company’s main offering is a self-contained cart, which can be used to move crops around the field. Burro uses what he calls “contextual autonomy,” which is able to navigate a space without training. The system can be used to increase field strengths, which are currently scarce.
The company already has some 90 robots in the field, moving table grapes and running about 100 to 300 miles a day, six days a week according to its tally. This cycle will be used to increase production for existing and new customers, with plans to have more than 500 robots globally by 2021.
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“Many independent businesses new to agriculture initially focused on autonomous tractors, autonomous weeding and harvesting, where they try to completely automate incredibly difficult technical tasks, and often struggle to grow on a big market – we started with collaborative people instead – large-scale robots that help people by moving heavy objects, ”CEO Charlie Andersen said in a statement. “The beauty of this approach is that we can evolve today around a pervasive pain point in the most labor-intensive areas of agriculture, while also allowing our platform to capture data and learn more about many environments – providing us with the foundation to adapt to countless other applications. “
Agtech is one of many robotics verticals that have seen increased interest during the pandemic as labor shortages have become more pronounced. Burro has undoubtedly captured the interest of investors by quickly offering its technology for real-world testing.