Bear Flag Robotics raises $7.9mn for autonomous tractors

By William Smith
Bear Flag Robotics is developing autonomous tractors for use on farms, offering a software package allowing remote monitoring and command capabilities...

Newark, California-based Bear Flag Robotics is developing autonomous tractors for use on farms.

Citing the fact that “transportation incidents”, which include tractor overturns, are the leading cause of death for farm workers, the company provides technology and services to run tractors autonomously. It works with produce and commodity flowers in California and Arizona, offering a software package allowing remote monitoring and command capabilities, as well as analytics to improve processes.

Significant backing

Since its 2017 foundation, the company has raised $12.5mn across five funding rounds. Its latest seed round alone saw Bear Flag Robotics raise $7.9mn from lead investors True Ventures, alongside Green Cow Venture Capital, Graphene Ventures, D20 Capital and AgFunder.

In a press release, AgFunder partner Rob Leclerc said: "I absolutely love this team and their mission, but when their customers told us how much they loved their Bear Flag tractors, and how farmers from the region would see it in the field and come pay a visit, we knew that this was a special company. Bear Flag has the potential to be one of the most important companies in agriculture over the next decade."

Automation the solution?

The company identified a number of challenges facing the industry, with the farm labour pool diminishing and climate change forcing growing seasons into shorter periods, that automation has the potential to resolve.

"When we first invested in [the company], we saw an innovative, passionate team bringing automation to farms," said Rohit Sharma, partner at True Ventures. "The impact of what Bear Flag Robotics delivers is meaningful every single day for farm operations, growers and consumers."

The agriculture tech industry has seen a number of developments in recent years, whether that’s using drones to improve the farming of hazelnuts or robotic, autonomous greenhouses that use hydroponics to maximise the space to yield ratio of robot-planted crops. 

(Image: Bear Flag Robotics)

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