If I’m an investor hoping to determine where robotics goes next after logistics, I’m looking at three key categories: construction, healthcare and agriculture. All are still in their relative infancy and poised for (in my humble opinion) some explosive growth. Agtech robotics is going to be an especially interesting category over the next couple of years, given how loudly and aggressively John Deere has entered the category with a startup shopping spree.
Also, much like fulfillment and logistics, farms have their own unique set of labor issues at the moment. The average age of an American farmer is mid-50s, and the life of a migrant worker is a difficult one, with numerous health and safety risks.
Carbon Robotics, which first crossed our radar back in April 2021, is one of several firms competing for a place on the farm. The company has found some early success for its laser weeding robots with zapping “500 million weeds across 40 different crops,” per its press material. The company is on track to deliver LaserWeeder to 17 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces in 2023.
This morning the Seattle-based firm announced a $30 million Series C. That follows a 2021 B round of $27 million, bringing its total to-date raise up to $67 million. Sozo Ventures led the round, which also features Anthos Capital, Fuse Venture Capital, Ignition Partners, Liquid 2 and Voyager Capital.
“This financing round further supports our mission to provide cost-effective and efficient precision ag-tech tools to growers,” founder and CEO Paul Mikesell said of the latest round. “Traditional weeding methods, including hand weeding and herbicides, are expensive, unreliable and damage soil health. The LaserWeeder uniquely addresses all of these challenges.”
The money will go toward sales, accelerating manufacturing and international expansion. It also sees investors from Sozo and Voyager joining Carbon’s board.