Temasek Holdings has co-led the US$30 million Series C funding round of EAVision Technologies, a Chinese agricultural drone company.
Chinese state-sponsored fund CITIC and local agrifood tech VC firm Bits x Bites are the other co-lead investors in the round.
BASF, Continental Grain Company, Pagoda, Suzhou Oriza Holdings, Zhidao Capital, Songshan Capital, and Yongxin Oriental, also participated.
With the new funding, EAVision aims to enhance its R&D and accelerate its market expansion globally.
In China, mountainous farming accounts for more than 34 per cent of its cultivated land however these terrains are extremely risky for farmers to farm in.
Launched in 2015, EAVision makes it possible for these agricultural sectors to profit despite the demanding geographical constraints with the help of its stereo vision sensors and algorithms which enable it to navigate challenging terrains.
When flying over hilly areas, the company claims to provide exceptional stability.
In mixed tree-crop vegetations with complicated gradients, its object detection feature allows for safe navigation. These are coupled with its patented mist sprinkler that allows the vehicles to get as close as one meter from the crown of the vegetation to enable targeted input application.
This precision reduces off-target drifting into the environment and improves producer wellbeing.
Its technology is developed by a team of expert engineers in Computer Vision, including former chiefs in auto-piloting control and safety at Tesla and image detection system designers for the Chinese national railway information systems.
“UAVs are uniquely suited for China as its geographical characteristics make fixed-wing aircraft or similarly large land-based machinery popular in the west less relevant. This lends an opportunity for technological innovators like EAVision to cater solutions for these farmers to grow more with less, safely, and cost-effectively. We are excited to work with the team to bring these benefits to growers across China and beyond,” said Joseph Zhou, managing partner of Bits x Bites.
Temasek invests mostly in companies that operate in larger sectors like telecom, energy, and finance. It recently made a major investment of US$120 million in Indian edutech startup UpGrad.
Image Credit: EAVision
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