This post originally appeared on http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/swiss-based-startup-gamaya-raises-over-32m-develop-agricultural-drones/2016-05-23.
[Editor’s Note: A hyperspectral camera is mounted on the drone. Data collected during the flight helps farmers understand the health of their crops and where action is needed.]
Gamaya, a Switzerland-based agricultural drone provider, has raised 3.2 million Swiss francs (US $3.23 million) in a Series A funding round. Among the investors were Sandoz Foundation, Nestle’s Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmanthe, social-impact fund Seed4Equity and Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners.
These investors are all “committed to the vision of sustainable future of agricultural industry,” the press release said.
The company uses hyperspectral imaging, drones and artificial intelligence to aid the agriculture industry. The technology offers situational awareness to farmers and agribusinesses, which can result in cost savings and a better quality and quantity of agricultural yield.
The hyperspectral camera is mounted on a drone. Data from that camera is put through an analytics platform that translates the information into readable insights farmers can use to make positive changes. For example, agronomy-drive info is translated into “action maps” – such as weed or disease maps – so a farmer can see exactly where she needs to make changes or take action.
The tech can offer insights such as early alerts for disease, pests and weeds, insights on the best routines for fertilizer application and predictions on yields, the press release said. As of now, Gamaya offers products for soybean, corn and sugarcane growers.
“We believe food production to be one of the main challenges facing humanity in the future,” Andres Brabeck-Letmathe, the managing director of Swiss investment firm Glasshouse, said in the press release. “Population growth, climate change, reduced water availability and environmental concerns will force food producers to become more and more efficient with less and less resources and Gamaya’s technology could in our view become part of the solution.”
Gamaya is a spin-off of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, a research university in Lausanne, Switzerland, which was founded in 2015 and specializes in physical sciences and engineering.