Iron Ox, an agricultural robot startup, has recently raised $ 53 million in a Series C investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Established by Bill Gates after retiring from Microsoft, Breakthrough Energy Ventures is a climate fund encompassing several different organizations.
Since retiring, Bill Gates has continued to invest in companies dedicated to tackling climate change. Now the founder of Microsoft put his money into a startup that develops robots that can sustainably grow plants.
The startup is developing robots integrated into a hydroponic system, which consumes 90 percent less water than traditional farms.
“World-class investors know that humanity’s most important quest is to reverse climate change. To get there, we cannot settle for increasingly sustainable crops, and we cannot ask consumers to commit to taste, convenience or value, “Iron Ox CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Alexander said in a statement.
About Iron Ox
Iron Ox operates farms in Northern California and, earlier this year began construction of a new one measuring approximately 49.7 thousand square feet in Lockhart, Texas.
Iron Ox, launched autonomous farming in 2018, grows to produce in proprietary greenhouses designed from the ground up to mitigate the environmental impacts of agriculture — a data-driven approach backed by plant science, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The robots designed by the company have sensors that allow them to measure the nitrogen and acidity levels of the water to achieve healthy plant growth. The technology company has strawberries, Thai basil and is developing those of tomatoes, parsley and coriander.
The closed-loop system optimizes plant yield, expands growth cycles and maximizes crop quality. The result is delicious, nutritious, locally sourced fruits and vegetables that currently cost about the same as produce from conventional farms, with substantially lower environmental impacts.