On May 4, 2021, Saskatchewan-based agtech company, Precision.AI, announced the closing of a $20 million in equity and grant funding. The company uses robotics and AI technology to improve farming practices that reduce herbicide usage.
The seed round was co-led by At One Ventures and BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, with participation by Saskatchewan’s Golden Opportunities Fund, U.S.-based Fulcrum Global Capital, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Protein Industries Canada. The investment will support Precision AI’s farming platform that uses drones to deploy herbicide application in agriculture.
The drone-based technology allows for precise herbicide application, reducing the amount of chemicals required in crop production. Eventually, the company hopes to use drones to automate crop protection throughout the growing season to optimize farmland usage and production.
“Farms of the future must be sustainable and produce healthier foods,” said Daniel McCann, CEO and founder of Precision.AI. “Using artificial intelligence to target individual weeds is a quantum leap in efficiency and sustainability over today’s practices of indiscriminate broadcast application of herbicide.”
Investors saw the opportunity in Precision.AI‘s technology.
“We were immediately struck by Precision AI’s unique combination of drone technology with precise chemical application. Not only can it minimize toxic runoff to protect waterways and downstream ecology, but also reduce farmers’ operating costs and increase their revenue with a zero-chemical residue label,” said Laurie Menoud, Partner at At One Ventures and member of the Board of Directors.
“Autonomous, precision spraying is the future of modern agriculture, and Precision AI’s best-in-class technology stack and deep management expertise have the potential to accelerate the development of this industry in exciting ways,” said Kevin Lockett, partner at U.S.-based Fulcrum Global Capital. “With an increasingly informed consuming public demanding greater transparency into the food it eats, we are excited to partner with Precision AI and the other co-investors in commercializing multiple ways to reduce the use of traditional chemicals within our food system while increasing sustainability and farmer profitability.”