SOUTH AFRICA – Agritech start-up Aerobotics founded in Cape Town, has raised US$17-million in a series-B funding round led by Naspers, one of the world’s top 10 technology investors.
Report of the investment comes barely a year after Naspers said it would invest US$6.7 million in Aerobotics through its Naspers Foundry business, which funds early-stage ventures.
Other than Naspers, there was also “significant participation” from Platform Investment Partners, FMO: Entrepreneurial Development Bank and Cathay AfricInvest Innovation.
The series-B investment will used to further technology development and product delivery in the US, a key market, and Aerobotics’ other core territories, it said.
“We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimise automation, minimise inputs and maximise production. We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders”
James Peterson – CEO, Aerobotics
Aerobotics, which was founded by James Paterson, who also serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Benji Meltzer in 2014, uses its technology to provide its farming clients with tree counts, the identification of missing trees, and the size and health of trees.
Paterson said in the statement announcing the series-B round: “We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimise automation, minimise inputs and maximise production. We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders.”
Naspers, whose business is primarily in classifieds, food delivery and fintech, seems confident about growth opportunities in the smart agriculture market estimated to be worth US$22 billion by 2025, according to market research firm Research and Markets.
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