BeeHero smartens up hives to provide ‘pollination as a service’ with $4M seed round

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Unearth the future of agriculture at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI with the CEOs of Traptic, FarmWise and Pyka

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Pyka and its autonomous, electric crop-spraying drone land $11M seed round

Modern agriculture involves fields of mind-boggling size, and spraying them efficiently is a serious operational challenge. Pyka is taking on the largely human-powered spray business with an autonomous winged craft and, crucially, regulatory approval. Just as we’ve seen with DroneSeed, this type of flying is risky for pilots, who must fly very close to the […]

FarmWise and its weed-pulling agribot harvest $14.5M in funding

Automating agriculture is a complex proposition given the number and variety of tasks involved, but a number of robotics and autonomy companies are giving it their best shot. FarmWise seems to have impressed someone — it just raised $14.5 million to continue development of its autonomous weeding vehicle. Currently in the prototype stage, these vehicles […]

Biome Makers closes $4M to assess the quality of the ‘gut bacteria’ of a farm’s soil

The agriculture industry faces huge problems of sustainability. The world’s population is increasing, leading to higher food demand, but this then threatens increasing deforestation, pesticide use and some fertilizers that are responsible for greenhouse emissions. Farming can also be a source of carbon sequestration, but how to preserve that? Plus, land quality is being decreased […]

Scientists discover a new way to provide plants the nutrients they need to thrive

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a new method for delivering key nutrients to plant roots – without having to ensure they’re present in the soil where the plants are growing. The landmark study greatly increases the efficiency of surface delivery of nutrients and pesticides to plants. Currently, when crops are sprayed with stuff […]

Bringing tech efficiencies to the agribusiness market, Silo harvests $3 million

Roughly $165 billion worth of wholesale produce is bought and sold every year in the U.S. And while that number is expected to go up to $1 trillion by 2025, the business of agribusiness remains unaffected by technology advancements that have reshaped almost every other industry. Now Silo, a company that recently raised $3 million […]

WorldCover raises $6M round for emerging markets’ climate insurance

WorldCover, a New York and Africa-based climate insurance provider to smallholder farmers, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures. Y Combinator, Western Technology Investment and EchoVC also participated in the round. WorldCover’s platform uses satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance options for farmers whose […]

Grainchain, a blockchain-based platform for commodity sales, launches in Mexico

In the two years since GrainChain launched its distributed ledger-based transaction platform for bulk dry goods, the company has brokered thousands of contracts on everything from corn, sorghum, wheat and soybeans to even sand from its headquarters in McAllen, Texas. Now the company is expanding its services to Mexico, partnering with the government of Tamaulipas […]

MIT’s ‘cyber-agriculture’ optimizes basil flavors

The days when you could simply grow a basil plant from a seed by placing it on your windowsill and watering it regularly are gone — there’s no point now that machine learning-optimized hydroponic “cyber-agriculture” has produced a superior plant with more robust flavors. The future of pesto is here. This research didn’t come out […]