Agricultural robotics firm Carbon Robotics (not to be confused with our former Battlefield contestant) announced this week that it has secured $27 million in funding. The round — which features Anthos Capital, Ignition Capital, FUSE and Voyager Capital — follows an $8.4 million Series A raised back in 2019. The company’s total funding is now at around $36 million.
“Weeding is one of the biggest challenges farmers face, especially with the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds and increasing interest in organic and regenerative methods,” founder and CEO Paul Mikesell said in a release. “This round of investment will enable us to scale our operations to meet the increasing demand for this technology. Additionally, this funding will allow our team to continue to innovate new products and identify revolutionary ways to apply technology to agriculture.”
The Seattle-based startup’s primary offering is an autonomous robot that uses lasers to zap weeds. The round follows the April announcement of Carbon’s latest-generation Autonomous Weeder, which it says is capable of eradicating around 100,000 weeds per hour. The pandemic has continued to accelerate interest in many agricultural robotics companies, as labor shortages continue to mount.
Carbon notes some international bans on various pesticides have left many farmers searching for an alternative solution. A system that works without the need for harmful chemicals that also reduces human labor in an industry often suffering from shortages in headcount has clear appeal.
The company says it has already sold out of its 2021 and 2022 stock, so one assumes scaling up production and headcount will be key investments from this round.