Guardian Agriculture has raised a $20 million Series A round led by Fall Line Capital to expand its autonomous drone technology to farms across the U.S. and ramp-up manufacturing of its SC1 aircraft. The raise brings Guardian’s cumulative funding to $35 million.
Founded in 2017 with a focus on large-scale agriculture, the Woburn, Massachussetts-based company has more than USD$100 million in pre-orders and will begin commercial operations to support customer (and investor) Wilbur-Ellis in Salinas Valley, California, this summer.
“Customers, investors, and regulators recognize that there’s no better application of electric, fully-autonomous aircraft than in commercial farming,” Adam Bercu, founder and CEO, told AgFunder News. “This funding will allow us to begin and quickly expand commercial operations on real farms with paying customers sooner as we continue to strengthen our team and ramp up aircraft production.”
He added that while a large percentage of pre-orders have come from farm service providers (custom applicators, retailers, etc), they’ve also had significant interest from farmers themselves. “Interest is strong among both specialty and row crop growers.”
The Series A funding is expected to help the company accelerate the ramp-up of large-scale manufacturing of its SC1 aircraft. This aircraft, which comes with a supercharger ground station and software that can help farmers track fertilizer applications, can carry 200-lb payloads and spray 40 acres per hour. The aircraft also collects data that enables farmers to keep dusting records and determine how this impacts crop performance, said Bercu.
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