Founded in 2020 by Rich Wurden (CTO) and Kenny Lee (CEO), US-based Aigen says it is the only agricultural technology company developing truly solar-powered autonomous robots for chemical free crop management. Weeds are controlled using a combination of electrical and mechanical solutions. Without a trace of fossil fuels, the Aigen Element robots combine LTE connectivity with the cutting edge of AI, ML, solar, and battery technology. This month the farm robotics company closed US$12 million in Series A financing.
The funding expands Aigen’s manufacturing capacity to meet high pre-order demand and create a new agricultural era that is both sustainable and scalable. “ReGen Ventures believes that innovation is the cornerstone of a regenerative future, and that’s why we invest in visionary companies like Aigen,” said Rose Marcario, Partner at ReGen Ventures, leading investor in the round. “The Aigen team’s exceptional progress in hardware and software development has us eagerly supporting their next phase – scaling.”
Other investors include NEA, Cleveland Avenue, Incite, and Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLLP. “Aigen is defining a new era for agriculture, where farmers prosper and people are healthier. Getting chemicals out of our food is not only incredibly important for fighting climate change, it’s also personal for Kenny and Rich,” said Swati Mylavarapu, managing partner at Incite. “The Aigen team embodies what Incite looks for in our investments: talented entrepreneurs who have the power to make the world a better place. We are thrilled to be joining them.”
Eliminating herbicide resistant weeds at scale
To date, Aigen has successfully demonstrated and integrated all critical technologies to solve farmers’ most urgent problem: eliminating herbicide resistant weeds at scale. With a total US$19 million raised, Aigen is building a 7,500 sq ft manufacturing and R&D facility to manufacture their solar-powered robotic fleet.
“Agriculture is the intersection of human health and planetary health and that’s why we focused on creating technology for farmers that is both profitable and sustainable. Our robotic fleet empowers farmers to escape the conventional system of chemical dependency,” said Kenny Lee. “Thank you to our amazing team who have accomplished so much in the past year. We are humbled by the support of our investors and incredibly excited to scale our fleet into 2024 and beyond.”
“Aigen wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago, because the technology wasn’t there. Today, we have a great team working on the cutting edge of AI, robotics, electric motors, and solar power,” said Rich Wurden. “Thanks to technological advances in all those areas and the incredible work of our team, we are automating farming solutions that have worked for thousands of years and helping farmers get chemicals off their farms and out of our food.”
The Aigen Element robotics service will debut on over 20,000 acres of U.S. farmland arriving on farms in April 2024 to transform weed control and real-time farming insights.