Bay Area-based autonomous farming startup Iron Ox announced a $ 53 million round this week. Series C, led by Breakthrough Energy Venture, brings the firm’s total financing to $ 98 million.
Iron Ox is one of a large number of companies seeking to revolutionize agriculture for the 21st century, amid growing concerns about population growth, climate change, labor shortages and a host of other growing concerns. . Solutions range from large-scale indoor farms to field robotics designed for a more plug and play approach that operates with a more traditional setup.
The startup refers to its approach as a “closed-loop system.” It is effectively a robotic greenhouse filled with proprietary harvesting technology. The company doesn’t make any outlandish claims in terms of performance, saying it roughly equates to what you’ll get from a traditional farm, but is working to do so with a significantly lower environmental footprint, and a model that is less beholden to the changes. seasonal than standard farming.
Iron Ox says their system uses about 90% less water than traditional farming. These types of systems also integrate data in every part of the process, collecting a significant amount of information about the products they grow to improve future performance.
“World-class investors know that humanity’s most important quest is to reverse climate change. To get there, we cannot settle for increasingly sustainable crops, and we cannot ask consumers to compromise on taste, convenience or value, “said co-founder and CEO Brandon Alexander in a statement linked to the news. “We are applying technology to minimize the amount of land, water and energy needed to nurture a growing population. The Iron Ox team will not stop until we achieve our long-term mission of making the produce sector negative in carbon”.
The company says this round will go toward scaling manufacturing, expanding operations in the United States, increasing R&D, and hiring more staff.