Small Robot, a UK-based ag-tech that is building sustainable farming robots, announced on Monday that venture capitalists 7percent Ventures has been confirmed as its lead investor after investing £200,000 into its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. This brought the funding round’s investment amount to more than £1.5 million.
According to Small Robot, 7percent Ventures is an entrepreneur-led, network-driven early-stage fund. Its previous investments include virtual reality company Oculus, seed-stage venture firm Anorak Ventures, and rideshare company Lyft. The company notably specializes in first or second money-in investments, with an average first investment of $250,000 (£200,000). Speaking about the investment, 7percent stated:
“We will not invest in any business –however good it might be — which is not a billion dollar opportunity. We are interested in Founders who want to transform a market, not iterate it. Change is the prerequisite to disruption. Therefore, to monopolize a market globally we believe you must fundamentally disrupt it. To do that you must have a product which solves a painful problem in a significantly better way (10x better ideally) than existing solutions, or serves a need which today is not being satisfied in another way.”
As previously reported, Small Robot has transitioned from prototype to commercial service, using an autonomous robot and their AI software to deliver a weed map to paying customers. The company further explained:
“Imagine a world in which we could use swarms of lightweight, smart machines to replace tractors and make food production more accurate, sustainable and profitable. Small Robot Company is building the technology to make this happen. Our three small robots, Tom, Dick and Harry and our AI brain Wilma will plant, monitor and treat arable crops autonomously.”
The current funding round follows one year after Small Robot secured £1,173,940 through its previous Crowdcube campaign. The company reported since that funding round, it has achieved its aim of moving from proof of concept to commercially-ready prototype. The new raise will help it to begin manufacturing its robots with its partners, Tharsus.
“Today, we are delivering an AI-generated field map which has the potential to show the exact location of every plant and all of the weeds on UK farms, and we believe we are the first to market with a product of this sort. This year we aim to demonstrate our ability to kill these weeds autonomously without using chemicals.”
Small Robot is currently offering 8.05% in equity at an £8 million pre-money valuation through the campaign.
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