Wednesday morning’s announcement of a Series A funding in the ag space tells us that while developing commercial robots may have a high price tag, investors are betting it will provide an even higher reward.
Blue River Technology announced it has raised $10 million in Series A-1 funding, with Data Collective Venture Capital leading the series. Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors also joined the round as a new investor, as did existing-investor Khosla Ventures. These big names plopped down some big bucks, and it means that farmers are one step—or should we say one click—closer to having robots run in their fields.
“Blue River is leveraging three important trends: machine learning, data-driven agriculture and robotics,” said Matt Ocko, founding partner of lead-investor, Data Collective Venture Capital. “This approach has the potential to revolutionize how we produce food in the near future.”
The driving mantra of the company’s technological visions is “every plant counts”. Blue River Technology believes that rather than blanketing crops with pesticides, fertilizer and water, each plant can be measured using visionary robotics technology. This kind of technology brings precision agriculture to a completely new level.
“Blue River has taken huge strides towards reinventing food production in a world of growing populations and scarce resources,” said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. “With our new funding, we’re looking to hire passionate engineers and scientists to help us advance the boundaries of computer vision, machine learning, robotics and agriculture in order to solve real-world problems.”
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Founded in 2011 by two Stanford-graduates, Lee Redden and Jorge Heraud, the Mountainview-based company has already provided the first commercial application that is used to identify and eliminate unwanted plants in lettuce production.
“Blue River is taking a very innovative and practical approach to solving one of the world’s top problems – how to produce more food in a responsible way,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. “I’m impressed by how quickly the company brought its first product to market and how successful it has been.”
With a massive Series A, and some of ag space’s most influential voices and backers, Blue River Technology has the tools to really change how influential and productive precision ag can be.
FEATURED PHOTO: Charles Knowles/Flickr