Investors are justifying Carbon robot It has attracted the attention of farmers all over the world.
This Seattle-based startup has just received $27 million to help meet demand. Its AI-driven autonomous robot uses computer vision software to identify weeds in the field, and then uses a 150-watt precise heat pulse generated by a laser to kill them.
The company has sold out its robot models for 2021 and 2022, and has reported bookings of more than $20 million.
Its technology provides farmers with a method for weeding without pesticides; improving soil quality; planting more organic agricultural products; and solving the problem of persistent labor shortages and rising wages.
James Johnson, a fourth-generation farmer and vice president of Carzalia Valley Produce in southwestern New Mexico, said his farm has traditionally been a “large number” of pesticide users. In the past few years, it has switched to more sustainable farming methods, and Carbon’s robots have inspected many boxes.
“It saves money and time, and it also protects our soil biology,” Johnson said over the phone this week when it was a short break for the onion harvest.
Carbon was founded in 2018 and is led by the co-founder of Isilon Systems Paul MaxellSold Isilon for $2.25 billion in 2010 and worked at Uber and Facebook before embarking on another entrepreneurial journey.
“This is definitely the most interesting thing I have ever played,” Mikesell told GeekWire this week. “I really want to do something fundamental. Growing food is one of the most important human activities.”
The company formerly known as Maka Autonomous Robots is not yet profitable. Mikesell declined to provide revenue metrics. Carbon has 20 employees and expects to triple the number of employees within 18 months.
Anthos Capital, Ignition Capital, Fuse and Voyager Capital invested in the latest round. The total funding to date is US$36 million.
“Carbon Robotics is fundamentally changing the way farmers weeds and may become the Deere & Company of this millennium,” Voyager Capital’s Erik Benson said in a statement.