June 29, 2023
Guardian Agriculture, a developer of drones for sustainable farming, has raised $20 million in a series A funding round to support the expansion of its crop protection drone technology.
The latest round was led by Fall Line Capital and brings the company’s overall funding to $35 million.
Guardian’s SC1 aircraft is an “autonomous, electric aerial crop protection system,” designed for large-scale agricultural use cases. Measuring 15 feet in width, it is fitted with an array of nozzles to allow large-scale crop spraying, able to cover 40 acres per hour.
The platform reportedly already has more than $100 million in customer orders.
"Any farmer buying new machinery today can tell you about reliability problems as complexity has far outpaced quality control," said Clay Mitchell, Fall Line Capital’s managing director. "Guardian is the first company to develop unmanned aerial application technology that's made with aviation-grade engineering and manufacturing, which greatly enhances reliability and performance"
The aircraft received Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval in April, making it the first and only electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company to have received the approval to operate commercially nationwide.
"As the first and only eVTOL-maker with FAA approval to operate commercially, this funding will allow us to begin and quickly expand commercial operations – on real farms, with paying customers – sooner as we continue to strengthen our team and ramp up aircraft production,” said Adam Bercu, Guardian Agriculture’s CEO.
The company has said it will begin commercial operations for customer Wilbur Ellis in Salinas Valley, California this summer.
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