Startups

An Indian startup that builds robots for farmers raises $5 million

Read more at www.businessinsider.in

  • TartanSense offers solutions for all major farming activities — sowing, spraying, weeding, and harvesting — to bring down the cost of cultivation.
  • The Series A round was led by FMC Ventures and Omnivore, with participation from Blume Ventures.
  • The company had previously raised $2 million in seed funding round in March 2019.

TartanSense, a startup that builds small agricultural robots for farmers to help in weeding and pest control, has raised $5 million funding. The Series A round was led by FMC Ventures and Omnivore, with participation from Blume Ventures.

The company had previously raised $2 million in seed funding round in March 2019, taking the total tally to $7 million capital raise to date.

TartanSense was founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Jaisimha Rao in 2015 after working as a quantitative analyst on Wall Street. He assembled a core team of Carnegie Mellon alumni with experience in robotics, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering.
“Our mission is to make smallholder farmers wealthier by shipping monetisable robots. TartanSense will have the world’s largest fleet of agriculture robots in the next 18 months” Rao said in a press note.

TartanSense offers solutions for all major farming activities — sowing, spraying, weeding, and harvesting — to bring down the cost of cultivation.

The six-year-old startup claims that its latest robot, BladeRunner, can identify, locate and uproot undesirable weeds from farmlands. It can also spot spray on the desired crop, reducing chemical usage by 45% and increasing weeding efficiency by seven times.

TartanSense emphasises that India is the largest grower of cotton in the world, with 33 million acres under cultivation. The company notes that an average weeding spend for one acre of land goes up to $100 for cotton growers. “The market potential only for weeding in cotton is over $3 billion annually. TartanSense aims to focus on cotton as well as several other crops with high cost of weeding,” the company said.

According to business intelligence firm Tracxn, there are over 1,017 agritech startups in India.


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