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Advanced Farm Technologies Raises $25M to Expand Harvesting Automation


September 21, 2021

Advanced Farm Technologies, which develops robotic technology for farming, has announced it has completed a $25 million Series B investment round to support the company’s growth in strawberry harvesting, and the adaptation of its technology to apple harvesting.

“It is gratifying to have the ongoing support and commitment from our early investors in this funding round,” said Kyle Cobb, president and co-founder of Advanced Farm Technologies. “Our success is also a testament to our grower partners in strawberries and apples who work with us to find creative ways to introduce automation into their ranches today, while giving us the feedback we need to rapidly iterate and improve the tech.”

Designed to work alongside manual harvest crews, the Advanced Farm TX Robotic Strawberry Harvester automatically senses and picks red, ripe fruit from in-soil strawberry beds with gentle, food-grade gripper technology, the company said. The purpose-built machine consists of multiple rugged robots that can withstand the rigors of outdoor, in-soil conditions with sophisticated computer vision and machine learning technology to navigate fields and harvest fruit autonomously, up to 24 hours a day. The company said the early market success of the TX Robotic Strawberry Harvester is a promising solution for the strawberry and apple industries, which face persistent labor supply challenges.

“The Advanced Farm team demonstrated tremendous discipline with the earlier fundraising, making $10 million go a very long way in developing and commercializing its technology quickly and creating the foundation needed to go to market,” said Rouz Jazayeri, managing partner of Catapult Ventures, which led the Series B investment. “With this latest investment round, the company can scale its team and robotic technology, with an eye toward expanding market share and adapting its technology for new crops, to deliver on the promise of automated harvesting for 21st-century farming.”

The strawberry harvester has been working in fields in the major strawberry-producing centers of California, including GoodFarms, The Oppenheimer Group (Oppy), and Naturipe, bringing tens of thousands of fresh fruit to market, Advanced Farm said.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the best in our industry and continue to be impressed by the practical, hands-on approach of Advanced Farm – a proven team that is building on their past success to bring meaningful automation solutions to farming,” said Dave Murray, partner at GoodFarms. “Automating our harvest with the Advanced Farm TX Robotic Strawberry Harvester helps us serve our customers, allowing us to better support our farm workers, and expand operations to meet the consumer demand for high quality, affordable fresh fruit.”

In addition to Catapult Ventures, the latest funding included all of the Series A investors: Kubota Corporation, Yamaha Motor Corporation, and Impact Ventures.

Founded in 2019, Advanced Farm Technologies is based in Davis, Calif. For more details on the company and its offerings, visit their website here.

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