British agritech start-up firm, Small Robot Company, have today (13 January) announced its latest Crowdcube equity crowdfunding campaign, in a bid to secure £700,000 to finance its next stage of innovation. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

Following a very successful first round of fundraising, the latest campaign from SRC seeks £700,000 to finance a non-chemical weed zapping robot Dick to field trials, and to manufacture of a fleet of Tom monitoring robots for its commercial weed mapping service.

“Agriculture is on the cusp of radical change. Precision, and not speed, will define the future of farming – and our technology is leading the charge,” says Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder, Small Robot Company. “There is a huge amount of investment going into agritech at the moment, and Crowdcube opens this opportunity up for private investors. Almost a third of our previous £1.2 million successful crowdfunding raise was from farmers, demonstrating the readiness of this industry to embrace change.”

Since the last raise, the firm has achieved a major delivery milestone of moving from proof of concept to commercially-ready prototype, adds the firms other co-founder, Ben Scott-Robinson. “This next raise will help us to begin manufacturing our robots, as well as delivering our weed zapping technology.

“Today, we’re delivering an AI-generated field map which has the potential to show the exact location of every plant and all of the weeds on UK farms, and we’re the first to market with a product of this sort. This year we’ll kill these weeds autonomously without using chemicals. With pressure increasing from regulators and herbicide resistant weeds, this will be game-changing.”

Funding to date

Small Robot Company has secured more than £2.5 million in funding to date, including £1.2 million from its previous Crowdcube raise, and more than £1million in government Innovate UK grants. This includes an £800,000 grant for its ‘Wilma’ artificial intelligence weed recognition and ‘Tom’ weed mapping technology. This was one of the largest single agritech grants made under Innovate UK’s innovation scheme in 2018.

“Anything that can help change for the better the way we produce food on this planet is urgently needed,” comments Matt Jones, principal designer, Google AI, fellow of the Small Robot and investor in Small Robot Company. “I’m excited to invest and support the Small Robot Company team in their mission to change farming for the better with human scale AI and robotics.”

Investors can access the campaign at