Burro was a participant in our 2020 robotics competition, where the agtech firm competed in our pitch-off. The company, which used to go under the less popular name Augean, is now moving up in the world. This week, they announced a $10.9million Series A raise. The round was led by S2G Ventures, Toyota Ventures, and also included participation from F-Prime, ADM Capital, and Radicle Growth, as well as existing investors ffVC and ffVC.
An autonomous cart is the company's main product. It can be used to transport crops from the fields. Burro uses what it calls pop up autonomy. This allows the system to navigate any space without needing training. This system can be used as a supplement to field workers, who are currently in shortage.
There are currently 90 robots in the field moving table grapes, and they travel between 100-300 miles per day, depending on their count. This is six days per week. This round will be used for scaling up production for existing customers and new ones. There are plans to have over 500 robots around the world by 2021.
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In agriculture, many autonomy companies have started with autonomous tractors, autonomous harvesting and autonomous weeding. However, these companies often fail to scale to large markets. CEO Charlie Andersen stated that they instead began with people-scale robots that move heavy objects. This approach has the advantage of allowing us to scale around the common pain point in most labor-intensive agricultural areas, while also allowing our platform capture data and learn about various environments. This allows us to scale to many other applications.
Agtech is just one of many robotics verticals that has seen increased interest in the current pandemic. This is because there have been more labor shortages. Burro's rapid deployment of its technology for real-world testing has attracted investors.