The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), in collaboration with Investec and supported by Sanlam Investments, has named AgriTech firm Aerobotics as 2019 Best Startup or Venture Capital Company.
SAVCA is the industry body for the private equity and venture capital industry in Southern Africa.
Aerobotics is a South African AgriTech company that builds advanced analytics on top of aerial drone and satellite imagery to deliver precision farming tools for clients.
In 2018, Nedbank partnered with Aerobotics to conduct an initial experiment by flying drones over pecan nut farms of a prospective agricultural client at the time. This experiment won The Banker Tech Projects Awards 2018 for Best FinTech Partnership.
Since then, Aerobotics has managed to grow significantly having reached a milestone of 33 million trees processed and approximately 80 000 hectares covered, up from 5 million trees a year ago.
The company has expanded internationally to cater to the growing market demand in the USA and has also identified lucrative opportunities in Europe, South America, the rest of Africa and Australia.
The company believes its innovative Aero solutions are globally relevant to growers in all markets.
Its scouting app, Aeroview InField, is a new technological dynamic to help farmers assess crops. Enabling easier farm and task management, the app benchmarks advanced crop monitoring with clear visuals that are often overlooked when scouting with the naked eye. The app has been designed on the backbone of an existing app, Aeroview Scout.
The biggest change from the initial app, Aeroview Scout, is that you can add more than one marker per tree. This allows for multiple data points and, therefore, more precise data capturing. Markers can be accompanied by custom notes, photos taken on your smartphone and qualifying data of in-field problems.
Showing its potential for adaptation, the new app can facilitate upcoming software developments such as Drone Scouting.
Drone scouting allows farmers who own and fly drones to collect data when needed. The tool is used to control the drone and position it within a five-meter range of stressed trees to capture a 360-degree visual of each tree. Thereafter, the data is interpreted to identify problems without farmers having to walk into the orchard.
For more read: SA’s AgriTech Startup Aerobotics Eyes Expansion In Europe