Listen to this article
Carbon Robotics closes its $27 million in Series B financing from Anthos Capital, Ignition Capital, Fuse Venture Partners and Voyager Capital to accelerate the company’s growth. The funding will be used to scale production of the company’s products, including the Autonomous Weeder, grow its engineering team, establish regional support for customers across the U.S. and invest in the innovation of new products and technology. This latest round of financing brings the company’s overall funding to $35.9 million.
“This investment further validates our mission to create tools that utilize technology to address farmers’ toughest problems,” said Paul Mikesell, CEO and founder of Carbon Robotics. “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. 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.”
In April, Carbon Robotics revealed its next-generation Autonomous Weeder, an autonomous robot that utilizes high-power lasers to eradicate weeds through thermal energy, without disturbing the soil. The hardware allows farmers to use fewer herbicides and reduce labor to remove unwanted plants while improving the reliability and predictability of costs, crop yield and more.
The Autonomous Weeder uses machines vision and artificial intelligence to discriminate between weed plants and crop plants, enabling the machine to effectively eliminate weeds by burning them on the spot with laser light energy.
With 263 herbicide-resistant species across 71 countries, the company has seen a high demand for its products, securing 12 new customers. Farms that have purchased the Autonomous Weeder include Grimmway Farms, Carzalia Valley Produce, Mercer Canyons, Taylor Farms, Triangle Farms, Terranova Ranch, Bowles Farm, Braga Ranch, Duncan Family Farms and Amigo Farms. Carbon Robotics has sold out of its 2021 and 2022 models of the robot, exceeding $20 million in bookings.
“The already demanding task of weeding has only gotten harder for farmers to manage as more herbicide-resistant weeds develop and the cost of herbicides increases,” said Cameron Borumand, general partner at FUSE. “Carbon Robotics has built a game-changing solution to solve one of the biggest problems in agriculture. Farmers have been innovative and resourceful in addressing this problem so far, but they deserve the best technology to help them execute one of the most important jobs in the world—putting food on people’s tables.”
As a part of the financing, Carbon Robotics welcomed Eric Scollard as Strategic Sales Advisor to support the company’s aggressive growth trajectory. In his role, Scollard will focus on developing strategic expansion initiatives that will enable Carbon Robotics to effectively scale production of the Autonomous Weeders and future products. Scollard will also support the development of the sales and regional support teams. In his previous executive roles at ExtraHop, Isilon and Qumulo, Scollard drove exponential growth for both organizations during his tenure there.
“Carbon Robotics is uniquely positioned to address critical issues affecting farmers, including the rise of superweeds and the decrease of available labor,” said Erik Benson, managing director of Voyager Capital. “The company is making advanced technologies accessible to farmers, supporting their business operations by improving efficiencies and reliability as well as offering a sustainable method to support the management of their land. Carbon Robotics is fundamentally changing how farmers weed fields and has the potential to be this millennium’s Deere & Company.”
Listen to Carbon Robotics CEO Paul Mikesell describe the weeding solution on a recent episode of The Robot Report Podcast.