British agritech Small Robot Company has raised £1.2m on Crowdcube equity crowdfunding platform.
It reached its initial funding target of £500,000 within minutes of its launch thanks largely to support from the farming community.
Investors included Matt Jones, Principle Designer at Google AI; Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides; and Andrew Ward, MBE, Farmers Weekly Farming Champion and Arable Farmer of the Year.
Small Robot Company aims to harnesses the power and precision of robots and Artificial Intelligence to improve the way that food is produced and minimise chemical usage. It will make farms more profitable, and increase yield and efficiency, through using small robots instead of tractors. Its farmbots Tom Dick and Harry will plant, feed and weed arable crops autonomously, with minimal waste.
This now takes the total funding raised by the Small Robot Company to £2.5m in total. This includes two awards from Innovate UK, £300,000 seed funding from farmers (including £90,000 in presales), £50,000 raised from Indiegogo crowdfunding, and a £50,000 Horizonatal Innovation Award from the the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
“We’re on the cusp of a fourth agricultural revolution, taking farming into the digital age: and with British ideas and British technology at the helm,” said Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder, Small Robot Company. “Our Tom, Dick and Harry robots will completely transform what’s possible on the farm. It will radically reduce chemical usage in arable farming, while improving soils, profits and yields. It’s the ultimate sustainable farming model.”