Omnivore, Blume, others back agri-tech startup TartanSense
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Bengaluru-based agri-tech platform TartanSense has raised $2 million (Rs 15 crore at current exchange rate) in a seed funding round led by venture capital firms Omnivore, Blume Ventures and BEENEXT.

The round also saw participation from Dileep George, co-founder of Silicon Valley-based Vicarious AI (backed by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos), GreyOrange co-founders Akash Gupta and Samay Kohli, and Featherlite’s Kush Jawahar, a company statement said.

With the recent fundraising, the company plans to scale its weed-spraying robotic solution for small cotton farmers called BrijBot. The robot helps reduce weeding costs by 70%.

Founded in 2015 by Jaisimha Rao, TartanSense builds robots for small farms. The bots use artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted computer vision and robotics to build precision sprayers for weed, insect and disease control.

Rao was previously with BlackRock, managing portfolios of securitised products. He is an engineering graduate from Carnegie Mellon University.

“Portable, affordable farm robots will level the playing field for smallholder farmers, giving them access to breakthroughs in robotics, computer vision, and AI,” said Rao, who is also chief executive of TartanSense.

TartanSense joins a number of startups that have raised funding in the agri-tech segment in the recent past.

Last week, agri-tech startup LeanAgri raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round led by venture capital firm India Quotient and joined by angel investors.

LeanAgri works to design solutions for optimising farming in India by improving productivity and reducing the cost of production for farmers.

Last month, Punjab-based agri-analytics startup AgNext Technologies Pvt.Ltd raised funds from early-stage venture capital firm Kalaari Capital. AgNext focuses on horticulture and plantation crops. It collects spatial, temporal and spectral data to provide solutions across the agriculture and food value chain. Its digital platform aims to improve the productivity and profitability of growers and food processors.

Last year in December, Bengaluru-based agri-marketing platform NinjaCart raised Rs 250 crore (around $35 million) in a Series B funding round led by US-based Accel and Switzerland-based agri-investor Syngenta Ventures.

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