TartanSense, a Bengaluru-based AgriTech and robotics startup raised $2 million in seed funding this week. This round was led by Omnivore, Blume Ventures, and BEENEXT.
With these funds, TartanSense now plans to scale their first product, BrijBot, a weed spraying robotic solution, for small cotton farmers. The robot helps reduce weeding costs by close to 70%. This will help improve the profitability of cotton farming in the country.
TartanSense, founded in 2015, builds robots for farming. These artificial intelligence-powered robots use computed vision and robotics to build precision sprayers for weed, insect and disease control. TartanSense founder Jaisimha Rao, while working on his family’s coffee plantation, noticed the lack of data-driven decision making on the field, and thus started his work on TartanSense to bridge this gap.
AgriTech in India has become a booming field with numerous startups working with technologies such as data analytics, machine learning and satellite imaging, among others, enabling farmers to maximise their output. According to a NASSCOM report, the Indian Government specifically supports AgriTech startups through its Startup India program. In 2016, more than 350 AgriTech startups raised $300 million in investment globally, out of which Indian investment accounted for 10 percent.
“We are democratising technology to small farm holders which has historically been available to large farms in the west by focusing on affordability and portability,” Rao, told a leading daily. “The next feature which will be added to the robot will be automated harvesting where a robotic solution can help with quick and timely harvesting of the crop,” he added.
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