Norwegian technology company Saga Robotics has successfully raised $11.5 million in growth capital through an equity transaction.
The company offers its autonomous robots, named Thorvald, through a farming-as-a-service (FaaS) model.
The new capital will be used to position the company for growth in American vineyards, continue expansion and strengthen its position in British strawberry farms, and develop new tools and data services. In the UK, the company has secured contracts with major players in strawberry production. The success in the UK has set the stage for growth in the American wine market, where Thorvald is already in use with large customers.
Scaling will be facilitated by a new generation of the robot, Thorvald 3, which the company said operates larger areas more efficiently and is designed for both scaled production and operation. The robot employs high-intensity UV-C light, an effective method to combat the fungus powdery mildew, without the need for pesticides. Thorvald is also equipped with cameras, collecting images and information from each plant for crop prediction. Data collection is already underway in the UK, where Thorvald also performs tasks such as cutting runners and spreading predatory mites in strawberry production.
“Robots are now capable of covering large areas and performing precision tasks that surpass conventional farming methods,” says Anne Dingstad, CEO of Saga Robotics. “This year, nearly one in 10 strawberries in the UK will be treated by Thorvald – and this is just the beginning of our global journey.”
Existing shareholders, Nysnø Climate Investment, Aker, Rabo Ventures, Hatteland, Melesio Capital and Sanden, continue to support the company. New shareholders are Songa Investments, which is part of Blystad Group and MP Pensjon. Founder Pål Johan From remains as one of the main shareholders.