South African artificial intelligence and drone startup closes Series A funding round

Aerobotics, a South African startup that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to process satellite and drone imagery and deliver insights to farmers, reports that it has successfully closed a Series A funding round of approximately $2 million. The funding round saw participation from investors such as Nedbank Group, AgFunder, AngelList and 4Di Capital.

In 2017, Aerobotics was among the 20 most promising Afrikan digital startups that were selected to take part in the XL Africa residency, the flagship initiative of the business accelerator launched in April 2016 by the World Bank Group’s infoDev program.

Agriculture Aerobotics Artificial Intelligence Drones Farming
Some of the features and benefits of using Aerobotics.

“From preventing the spread of pests and disease to ensuring optimum irrigation and nutrition levels, the early detection of these problems can mean the difference between producing a profitable harvest, or not. We use aerial imagery and machine learning algorithms to do just this – provide insightful data on the performance of tree crops so that farmers can take the necessary steps to rectify any issues before they actually become a problem. With the insights gathered from our in-field scouting App, Aeroview, we could help offer Farmers insurance and financing options based on their crop status,” said James Paterson, CEO at Aerobotics.

Precision farming using drones and artificial intelligence

Aerobotics has spent the last 4 years growing a team with some of the top technical, agricultural and commercial talent in South Africa. The AgriTech startup says it has been working with some of the best farmers in South Africa to validate, build and roll out technology solution.

Apart from being part of the XL-Africa accelerator, Aerobotics has also participated in the StartupBootcamp InsurTech Programme in London in 2017 and was selected as one of 24 startups from emerging markets globally for the Google Launchpad accelerator programme in 2018.

“There is no doubt that the South African agriculture industry plays an important role in job creation and foreign exchange and that there is potential to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product. Pre-empting serious agricultural challenges for our Farmers is a massive step towards achieving this and is something our funders clearly recognize,” said Patterson.

Aerobatics indicated that it will be using the funds raised to expand globally over the next 12 months with a launch in the USA taking place in Florida during August 2018.


Cover image credit: Aerobotics. YouTube

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