I won’t lie, IUNU (pronounced “you knew”) is not the easiest name (the appearance of the robot named “Moon” is confusing). But Agtech is in solid business and received a bona fide Series B vote. News today shows the Seattle-based company raises $24 million led by Lewis & Clark Ventures, with S2G Ventures, Ceres Partners and Astanor Ventures returning for more investment. .
Instead of focusing on field work or vertical farming, the company is focusing on the world of greenhouses. The Luna robotic system works on the roof of the greenhouse and monitors crops using computer vision. The system can detect problem areas and places ready for harvest so farmers don’t have to go back and forth, which has become a problem as farms have gotten bigger.
This is the type of system we often see on more traditional farms as part of a larger autonomous robot. Greenhouses certainly make sense for this technology, as they effectively allow it to be moved back and forth on rails.
IUNU says it currently works with a quarter of US leafy vegetable growers. The company currently employs 60 people, up 50% from the last six months. The round will focus on expanding the global presence and expanding research and development of new products.
“This investment round reflects the confidence of institutional investors,” CEO Adam Greenberg said in a press release. “The conversation about autonomous agriculture has gained momentum over the past year, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this process.
As always, data plays a big role here, and IUNU claims it currently has “the largest production data set in the industry” based on its implementation. Such a large cache is important for creating algorithms that can help identify potential problems before they become a big problem for a particular culture.
In September, the company acquired 2015 Startup Battlefield winner Artemis (née Agrilist) to expand its data collection capabilities.