Sustainable farming robotics company raises £2.5 million

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The Small Robot Company, a British agritech start-up for sustainable farming, has announced that it has raised £1.2million on the Crowdcube equity crowdfunding platform.

The company reached its initial funding target of £500,000 within minutes of its launch thanks largely to support from the farming community.

According to the company it received support from the farming, technology and ‘eco’ communities. Investors included Matt Jones, Principle Designer at Google AI; Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides; and Andrew Ward, MBE, Farmers Weekly Farming Champion and Arable Farmer of the Year.

Small Robot Company was set up to develop the precision of robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the way that food is produced and minimise chemical usage - increasing yields and efficiencies, through using small robots instead of tractors.

Its farmbots Tom Dick and Harry are able to plant, feed and weed arable crops autonomously, with minimal waste.

This new funding now takes the total raised by the Small Robot Company to £2.5million in total. This includes two awards from Innovate UK, £300,000 seed funding from farmers (including £90,000 in presales), £50,000 raised from Indiegogo crowdfunding, and a £50,000 Horizonatal Innovation Award from the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

“Anything that can help change for the better the way we produce food on this planet is urgently needed,” commented Matt Jones, Principal Designer, Google AI, fellow of the Small Robot and investor in Small Robot Company.

“This is game-changing for Small Robot Company. We have already made phenomenal progress. Just one year on from our foundation, we already have three prototype robots and an AI that can tell Wheat from Weed,” said Sam Watson Jones, co-founder and fourth generation Shropshire farmer. “With this backing through Crowdcube, we are now poised to completely transform food production.”