Bay Area-based autonomous agriculture startup Iron Ox this week announced a $53 million round. Series C, led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, brings the firm’s total funding to $98 million.
Amid growing concerns over population growth, climate change, labor shortages and other growing concerns, Iron Ox is one of a large number of companies that want to revolutionize farming for the 21st century. Solutions range from large-scale indoor farms to field robotics designed for a more plug and play approach that operates with more traditional setups.
Startup refers to its approach as a “closed loop system.” It is effectively a robotic greenhouse filled with proprietary harvesting technology. The company doesn’t have any outside claims in terms of yield, saying it’ll get more or less what you’d get from a traditional farm, but it’s working to do so with a significantly smaller environmental footprint — and a model that There is less to observe seasonal changes as compared to standard farming.
Iron Ox says its system uses about 90% less water than traditional farming. These types of systems integrate data into every part of the process, collecting a significant amount of information about the produce they grow in order to improve future yields.
“World-class investors know that reversing climate change is humanity’s most important pursuit. To get there, we cannot consistently settle for more sustainable crops – and we have to compromise on taste, convenience or value to consumers. Can’t say no,” co-founder and CEO Brandon Alexander said in a news release. “We are applying technology to reduce the amount of land, water and energy needed to feed a growing population. The Iron Ox team will not stop until we continue our long-term mission of making the production sector carbon negative. do not achieve.
The company says this round will go towards expanding manufacturing, expanding operations in the US, accelerating R&D and hiring more employees.