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Aerobotics, SA agri-tech startup raises $5.5m from Nasper’s Foundry

The ZAR100 million will fund their growth plans into the future


Cape Town-based Aerobotics relies on aerial imagery from satellites and drones. The images are then blended with machine learning algorithms that provide early problem detection services. The technology will aid trees and wine farmers in optimizing the performance of their crops.

The technology is in the form of a platform Aeroview that gives farmers insights, mapping, and other features that keep out damage to vines and trees preventing the spread of diseases. For instance, pests and diseases target almond trees under stress right before they infest those that are healthy. The Aeroview app will identify what causes stress in the orchard. This unique form of precision agriculture helps growers utilize their limited funds to time spent on the orchards.

Aeroview now operates in Spanish, Portuguese and French. Users have the ability to view and access the new web features.

Last year the company accumulated $4 million after securing an extra $2 million from Paper Plane ventures.  Thus far, the startup has doubled its funding to $5.5 million, courtesy of Naspers Foundry. Naspers is one of the world’s largest technology investors. They began a $96 million fund for the South African market through Naspers Foundry. Aerobotics is the second company they have invested in, a deal that is awaiting approval from the local authorities.

James Paterson, the CEO of Aerobotics, termed the invested as the beginning of their journey. “Our journey is only just beginning,” and went on to point out, “great support” from commercial-scale farmers, crop insurance companies in the United States.

The CEO of Naspers in South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, mentioned how security is of importance and the Aerobics platform offers a “positive contribution.”


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