Lesser-known Chinese agricultural drone-maker EAVision has raised hundreds of millions of yuan in its series C funding round, reflecting investor confidence in the role of unmanned aerial vehicles in crop production and plant protection.
By Ding Yi
Co-led by Singapore’s Temasek, Chinese state-backed investor Citic Agricultural Fund and Shanghai-based agrifood tech venture capital firm Bits x Bites, the round was joined by investors including German chemicals giant BASF, U.S.-based agribusiness firm Continental Grain Company and Chinese fresh fruit retailer Pagoda, EAVision said in a statement on Tuesday.
Proceeds will be used to enhance its research and development (R&D) capabilities and accelerate its global market expansion, said EAVision, whose products are currently used in China, Japan, South Korea and Africa.
Suzhou-based EAVision said that it develops agricultural drones featuring technologies including three-dimensional machine vision, artificial intelligence visual recognition, autonomous navigation and precision spraying for autonomous crop protection — even in complex terrains like mountainous areas and steeply terraced farms.
Given the long-term trend of farmers increasingly using automated machines to improve crop production efficiency and protect plants, related companies have found favor with venture capitalists.
In March, XAG, a Chinese maker of agricultural drone and robots, pocketed 300 million yuan ($46 million) in funding to increase R&D investment. Together with industry leader SZ DJI, the firms claim a combined 90% of China’s agricultural drone market.
Originally published at Caixin global