A very newcomer in the world of agriculture drones, Guardian Agriculture has launched with $10.5 million in funding from some of the world’s largest agribusiness leaders. The company officially announced its launch yesterday and plans to bring digital farming to the United States with US-built drones.

The seed funding round was lead by Leaps by Bayer with participation from FMC Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis’s Cavallo Ventures, Fall Line Capital, the MIT-affiliated E14 Fund, Pillar VC, and Neoteny. The company has already raised an additional $5 million from a previous funding round, totaling $15.5 million.

Guardian Agriculture is headed up by ex-Apple, Otto, and Uber executives and has developed the first integrated drone system for precision application, extending growers’ reach, reducing environmental impact, and minimizing product resistance.

Adam Bercu, CEO and cofounder of Guardian Agriculture, wrote:

We believe eVTOL is the crop protection model of the future. Guardian Agriculture’s technology delivers tremendous benefits to both growers and the environment.

Rather than buying the drone from Guardian Agriculture, it is offered as a service, removing the high up-front costs and allowing customers to access the latest drones without any of the upkeep needed. The drone collects and acts on the data to reduce pesticide wastage while speeding the process up.

Juergen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer, said:

Reducing the environmental impact of agriculture is a key focus area of ours. By integrating data and insight with tools large enough to service commercial farms, Guardian Agriculture delivers crop protection that improves farmer profitability while simultaneously minimizing environmental side effects.

The Guardian Agriculture addresses one of the biggest problems farmers face today, the difficulty of safe, effective, and sustainable crop protection. Current chemical methods are reaching the limits of their efficiency and come with obvious negative environmental impacts. This has resulted in many turning to new technology and drones to capture crop data and adjust the way crop protection is done.

Clay Mitchell, cofounder and managing director of Fall Line Capital, finished with:

The erosion of denuded ditch banks and field edges and the large-scale selection for resistance caused by airplane-based application triggers a destructive chain of events that melts that whole landscape away, and the productivity enjoyed by that farmer is stolen from a thousand future generations. With the entire Guardian Agriculture solution engineered around precise control of the droplet from nozzle to target, the true aim of crop protection is recaptured.

Photo: Guardian Agriculture

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