Not going to lie, IUNU (pronounced “you knew”) isn’t the best identify (additional complicated issues is the presence of a robotic known as “LUNA”). However the agtech agency is concerned in a strong enterprise and simply received a pleasant vote of confidence within the type of a Collection B spherical. In the present day’s information finds the Seattle-based agency choosing up $24 million in funding, led by Lewis & Clark Ventures, with S2G Ventures, Ceres Companions and Astanor Ventures returning for extra.
Somewhat than working within the discipline or vertical farming, the corporate’s focusing on the world of greenhouses. Its LUNA robotic system strikes alongside the highest of a greenhouse roof, checking in on crops utilizing laptop imaginative and prescient. The system can detect drawback areas and spots which can be prepared to reap, so farmers don’t should stroll up and down crops — one thing that begins to develop into a difficulty as farms scale.
These are the sort of methods we’ve generally seen rolled out for extra conventional farms as half of a bigger autonomous robotic. Greenhouses definitely make sense for the tech, as they successfully permit it to maneuver forwards and backwards on a observe.
IUNU says it’s presently working with 1 / 4 of greenhouse leafy inexperienced growers within the U.S. The corporate presently employs 60, a 50% improve in headcount during the last six months. This spherical will go towards increasing its world footprint, in addition to growing R&D on new merchandise.
“This spherical of funding displays the arrogance institutional buyers have in us,” CEO Adam Greenberg says in a launch. “The dialog round autonomous rising has accelerated up to now yr, and we’re proud to be main the way in which on this entrance.
As at all times, knowledge’s the large play right here, and iUNU claims it presently has the “largest manufacturing dataset within the business,” primarily based on current deployment. A giant cache like that’s vital for creating algorithms that may assist determine potential issues earlier than they develop into main points for a given crop.
In September, the corporate acquired our 2015 Startup Battlefield winner Artemis (nee Agrilyst) to bolster its data-collecting capabilities.