Precision AI, an automated precision agriculture startup, announced today that it has raised a $20 million in Seed round of equity and grant funding. The round was co-led by At One Ventures and the Industrial Innovation Venture Fund of BDC Capital, with participation from Fulcrum Global Capital and Golden Opportunities, as well as non-dilutive co-investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Protein Industries Canada.
Based in Regina, Canada, Precision AI uses a combination of drones and computer vision to conduct precise application of herbicides and pesticides on weeds. Precision AI’s system deploys swarms of drones that fly over farm fields. The drones can carry a 25 lbs. payload and have a 55 minute flight time. Equipped with both cameras and a sprayer, the drones’ system automatically identifies weeds and sprays them with specific dose of pesticide or herbicide.
The goal is to reduce the waste and cost that comes from indiscriminate, broad application of chemicals to tackle weeds. Additionally, Precision AI’s approach only sprays the weeds, not the crops themselves, so there are fewer chemicals applied to the food we consumer. Precision AI says its drone approach to weed control on large acreage crops is much cheaper than traditional large farming machinery and could reduce the amount of pesticide use by up to 95 percent while maintaining crop yield and saving farmers $52 per acre per growing season.
Precision AI sits at the Nexus of a few trends happening in agriculture. The first, fittingly, is bringing precision control to farms. Sensors and IoT allow the monitoring of things like soil moisture, plant temperature, and fertilization on a more granular level. To get these levels of precision, we’re also seeing automation coming to farms in the form of robots that do everything from carrying gear to zapping weeds with electricity to harvesting crops. Drones are also being employed more monitor farm conditions and plant growth and even pick fruit.
Automation on the farm is actually a topic we’ll be tackling at our upcoming ArticulATE food robotics and automation virtual summit on May 18th. We’ll have speakers from Future Acres, AgShift and AgFunder discussing the opportunities that lie ahead for automated precision agriculture. Get your ticket today!