|By Business Wire||
|March 19, 2014 09:07 AM EDT||
Blue River Technology, a pioneer in the use of computer vision and robotics for agriculture, today announced it has raised $10 million in Series A-1 funding led by Data Collective Venture Capital. Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors joined the round as a new investor, and existing investor Khosla Ventures also participated. With this new funding, the company plans to further expand its engineering team and product offering.
Over the past three years, Blue River Technology has developed and successfully commercialized revolutionary robotic systems that unlock greater yield potential in agriculture. Rather than the current approach of applying chemicals inefficiently across entire fields, Blue River is building a future in which “every plant counts” – where the needs of each plant are measured and inputs are applied precisely in the required dosage. Blue River’s first commercial application is used to identify and precisely eliminate unwanted plants in lettuce production. The company is also working to extend its innovative plant recognition systems and big data techniques for application with row crops like corn and soybeans, which can benefit from phenotyping for crop breeding as well as precise weed control.
“Blue River has taken huge strides towards reinventing food production in a world of growing populations and scarce resources,” said Jorge Heraud, co-founder and CEO of Blue River Technology. “With our new funding, we’re looking to hire passionate engineers and scientists to help us advance the boundaries of computer vision, machine learning, robotics and agriculture in order to solve real-world problems.”
“Blue River is taking a very innovative and practical approach to solving one of the world’s top problems – how to produce more food in a responsible way,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. “I’m impressed by how quickly the company brought its first product to market and how successful it has been. This high-caliber Blue River team has assembled leading experts spanning both cutting-edge technology and agriculture, and I believe they are in a great position to lead the next generation of environmentally-friendly precision agriculture.”
“Blue River is leveraging three important trends: machine learning, data-driven agriculture and robotics,” said Matt Ocko, founding partner of Data Collective Venture Capital. “This approach has the potential to revolutionize how we produce food in the near future.”
ABOUT BLUE RIVER TECHNOLOGY
Founded in 2011 and based in Mountain View, California, Blue River Technology’s mission is to create and deliver advanced technology for better agriculture. The company’s pioneering approach utilizes computer vision and robotics to build a future in which “every plant counts” – where the needs of each plant are precisely measured, significantly reducing chemical and nutrient use. The company brings significant experience in precision agriculture, robotics, computer vision and machine learning and is funded by prestigious investors including Khosla Ventures, Data Collective, and Innovation Endeavors.
ABOUT DATA COLLECTIVE VENTURE CAPITAL
Data Collective is a leading venture capital firm that backs entrepreneurs building the next generation of Big Data, deep compute, and IT infrastructure companies. Data Collective delivers powerful value to its entrepreneurs with a unique venture capital model: an array of highly engaged, world class technology leaders who share directly in the firm’s upside. For more information visit www.dcvc.com.
ABOUT KHOSLA VENTURES
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough technologies in clean energy, mobile, IT, cloud, big data, storage, health, food, agriculture and semiconductors. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at www.khoslaventures.com.
ABOUT INNOVATION ENDEAVORS
Innovation Endeavors combines an evergreen VC fund, a unique approach to venture-creation, and the support of a dynamic, international founder community to help entrepreneurs build lasting companies that will have significant financial and human impact. To learn more about its community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs, visit www.InnovationEndeavors.com.
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