Agricultural Drone Upstart EAVision Raises Fresh Capital To Fund Challenge To Sector Leader

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.

Agricultural Drone Upstart EAVision Raises Fresh Capital to Fund Challenge to Sector Leader

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

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