Small Robot Co. Raises Another £2M Through Equity Crowdfunding

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Agtech startup Small Robot Company announced today that it has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign and already hit its goal of raising £2 million (~$2.77M USD). This is the fourth time Small Robot has turned to equity crowdfunding, where it has previously raised £4.3 million. This brings the total amount of funding raised by Small Robot to £9 million.

How did Small Robot meet its crowdfunding goal so quickly? In the press announcement emailed to The Spoon, the company said it raised £1.8 million through a private Crowdcube campaign and also got subsequent matching from the U.K. government’s Future Fund.

Small Robot Company uses a combination of robots and artificial intelligence to help automate certain agricultural needs. Small Robot’s products include the Tom, Dick and Harry robots. As we’ve covered previously:

  • Tom uses cameras and computer vision to precisely map a field of its plants and weeds
  • Wilma is the AI that analyzes those images to gather per-plant intelligence and weed identification
  • Dick is an autonomous weed zapper that is armed with an electric wand and information from Wilma to precisely electrocute individual weed without the need for chemicals
  • The company will eventually add a third robot, Harry, to its lineup that will do no-till drilling.

Equity crowdfunding has been a popular choice for robotics companies looking to raise money. Fellow agtech startup Future Acres, which makes a robotic platform that will initially be used to haul crops, launched its own crowdfunding campaign earlier this year. Other non-agtech robot startups equity crowdfunding include Piestro, Kiwibot, DaVinci Kitchen, Blendid and EBar.

Some of the benefits of equity crowdfunding include being able to raise money without the scaling pressures that come with traditional VC money, as well as building a diverse, enthusiastic community that can provide real world feedback and evangelize a product and campaign. For more, check out the video from a panel we devoted to equity crowdfunding at our recent ArticulATE food robotics conference in May (Spoon Plus subscription required).

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