Intello Labs, which uses computer vision and AI to assess food quality, announced last week that it has raised a $2 million seed round from Nexus Venture Partners and Omnivore. This brings the total amount raised by Intello to roughly $2.4 million.
A few things have changed for Intello Labs since we last checked in with the company almost a year ago. Back then it was using its computer vision and AI to create a neutral food grade to help farmers earn a fair price for their crops. With an AI-based grade, farmers were better able to defend and earn higher prices from picky buyers who might try to question the quality of the produce to pay less.
Sreevidya Ghantasala, a Research and Development Analyst at Intello Labs who also heads up its U.S. operations (the company is headquartered in India), told me in a phone interview that the company is moving away from independent farmers and more towards corporate ones. “We believe independent farmers are apprehensive about using new technology,” Ghantasala said.
Additionally, Intello Labs is also moving on up, literally, and using its computer vision and AI platform with drones. Previously, Intello only worked with smartphone cameras with which parties involved would take pictures of food and submit it to Intello’s cloud for analysis.
With the move to drones, Intello has been able to expand its features and crop capabilities. Its software has now been used by drones flying over rice fields to count flowers that will produce rice seeds. Ghantasala said that having successfully completed this expansion into aerial image taking and rice, Intello is working with the rice producer to broaden into even more applications.
Intello Labs isn’t the only company using computer vision and AI to do crop assessments. AgShift does pretty much the same thing, though as Intello appears to be going further into the fields with drones, AgShift is diving deeper into the supply chain with the recent launch of its bulk food inspector.
Ghantasala said that Intello Labs will be using this seed round to establish a larger presence in the U.S. as well as improve the company’s technology.