Cape Town-based aerial data analytics company, Aerobotics has secured approximately USD 2 Mn from Nedbank. The bank’s R 100 Mn Venture Capital fund, through which the investment was made, hopes to invest and fast track technological ventures, thus shaping the Agri-finance sector.
“We are really excited to have closed our Series A, which will enable us to push towards our targets over the next few years. We are confident that we have brought on the best possible partners, where all of our investors will play a crucial strategic role in our growth”, said Benji Meltzer, Co-Founder of Aerobotics.
Aerobotics was founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to process satellite and drone imagery and deliver insights to Farmers. Banks and Insurance companies are also finding the information useful when assessing the client’s risk. This works by setting drones to roam around the farm and monitor trees, send alert for a potential threat to the farmers.
The inventive and futuristic startup made a good impression on Nedbank’s venture capital fund which led the recent Series A round along with 4Di Capital, AgFunder, and US-based AngelList. The startup last year had secured a seed capital of USD 600 K from 4 Di capital and Savannah funds in Kenya.
Paterson says, “There is no doubt that the South African agriculture industry plays an important role in job creation and foreign exchange and that there is potential to increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product. Pre-empting serious agricultural challenges for our Farmers is a massive step towards achieving this and is something our funders clearly recognise.”
This technology is advantageous to the South African economy as agriculture products are one of the top goods exported to other countries. Apart from South Africa, the startup has expanded its presence to other geographies like Australia and will be soon launching in Florida, US.
Note: This article was updated with quotes and funding amount from Aerobotics team on July 17, 2018.