AppHarvest buys ag-robotics firm, Root AI – TechCrunch

Indoor farming firm AppHarvest this week introduced that it has acquired Root AI. The deal is valued at round $60 million, with $10 million in money and the reminder coming from AppHarvest inventory.

Root AI is a Boston-based robotics startup, with a mission pretty in step with that of its future guardian firm. We’ve coated the startup a handful of instances, together with final August, when it introduced a $7.2 million seed spherical. Robotics, usually, have gotten a lift in the course of the pandemic, however agriculture and meals manufacturing have gotten particular appears to be like, as organizations are in search of methods to automate their processes.

Including the aforementioned seed, Root has raised a complete of $9.5 million to this point, fueled by curiosity in its Virgo harvesting system. Founder and CEO Josh Lessing will step right into a CTO function at AppHarvest if the acquisition clears. The startup remains to be pretty lean, with 19 full-time staff.

According to quotes from each events, robot-gathered knowledge for crop yields is a key a part of the acquisition.

“Farming as we’ve known it is broken because of the increasing number of variables such as extreme weather, droughts, fire and contamination by animals that make our food system unreliable,” AppHarvest founder and CEO Jonathan Webb stated in a launch tied to the news. Indoor farming solves for a lot of of these challenges, and the info gathered can exponentially ship extra insights that assist us predict and management crop high quality and yield.”

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