Robotics startup Agerris has raised $6.5 million in seed funding from Australia's longest running research commercialization fund, Uniseed.
The company founded by University of Sydney Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and 2019 NSW Australian of the Year nominee Salah Sukkarieh based on technology created by the University of Sydney's Australian Centre for Field Robotics said it will use the funding to “roll out its platforms and data analytics tools.”
The overall focus is to equip farmers and growers with air and ground field robotic systems, intelligent tools, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to improve farm productivity.
“Farmers worldwide will need to increase production through enhancing agricultural productivity, yet many often struggle to afford the best customized advice for their farm, leading to sub-optimal yields and efficiencies from their crops,” said Professor Sukkarieh.
“Livestock farmers, meanwhile, face a number of competing and complex issues, such as high labor and fuel costs, as well as animal welfare and mismanagement concerns,” he added.
To date, the company has already commercialized two robotics platforms designed to improve the productivity of livestock and horticultural farmers.
It said on its website that it has been developing air and ground robotic solutions for the agriculture industry since 2005.
The University of Sydney disclosed that Uniseed, a venture fund dedicated to commercializing university research, invested in Agerris alongside venture capital firms Carthona Capital and BridgeLane Group.
Unlike most venture funds, Uniseed has investment capital provided by the five partner research organisations. It said its mandate is to facilitate the commercialization of research ‘partner-generated’ intellectual property by targeted investment in highly promising technologies.
“Agerris has developed groundbreaking technology that not only addresses the growing need for increased agricultural productivity but promises to radically transform the farming process and make Australia a world-leader in intelligent farm systems,” said Uniseed Investment Manager Anthony Musumeci.
“Agerris has developed groundbreaking technology that not only addresses the growing need for increased agricultural productivity but promises to radically transform the farming process and make Australia a world-leader in intelligent farm systems,” Musumeci said.
BridgeLane Capital, on the other hand, is a Sydney-based alternative asset investment firm, while Carthona Capital is a venture capital investor based in Sydney, Australia that invests globally.