‘S Hertogenbosch | June 17, 2021 | Trabotyx got an investment from BOM, two angels and four agrarians. With this they can speed up the development of their autonomous weeding robot and service their first customers in 2022.
“Mohamed, my co-founder and I are thrilled that with the close of this round we can bring our first version of the weeding robot to market in 2022. Weeding is currently done either by hand for organic farmers or by spraying herbicides by conventional farmers. The first is not scalable, the second has a negative impact on the environment. In line with upcoming European regulations, Trabotyx sees a massive need to automate weeding.” said Tim Kreukniet, Trabotyx CEO.
Trabotyx is building a precision farming robot to simultaneously automate weed control and monitor field performance. Trabotyx MVP will focus on carrots, a crop that sees the most manual labor in the organic sector. In 5 years, Trabotyx aims to offer all farmers weeding solutions that are cheaper than spraying chemicals - thereby stimulating the enormous transition to sustainable food production while safeguarding farmers' bottom line. By using Trabotyx's solution, an organic farmer creates peace of mind and instantly saves 25% on labor cost.
“This round of funding will allow us to speed-up our software and hardware developments and further grow our multidisciplinary engineering team with experienced and talented people. It will also allow us to spend more time and effort on innovation and experimentation with novel approaches in solving the challenging problems of weeding automation, offroad autonomous robot mobility, reliability and most importantly safe operation.” according to CTO, Mohamed Boussama
The company has recently closed a €460,000 seed round from BOM, joined the Business Incubator of the European Space Agency and were granted a €150,000 Innovation Loan from RaboBank. On top of this, over the past six months, Trabotyx has doubled the number of farmers signed up to test their prototype.
“We are pleased that with this early stage investment we can help Trabotyx further develop their weeding robot”, says Investment Associate Bart van den Heuvel of the Brabant Development Company. “The market for agricultural robots will grow from 715 million to 2.5 billion euros in the coming years. With a strong agricultural and high-tech sector, Brabant is ideally placed for a leading role in that market. It is great that Trabotyx is now also part of the ecosystem that we are developing around precision agriculture.”
The Trabotyx team consists of CEO, Tim Kreukniet, who is deeply passionate about using tech for sustainability. He brought EVBox to the US market and bootstrapped the company through product certification and from zero to US$3m in hardware and services revenue. Mohamed Boussama, the team’s CTO has had a successful prior career in aeronautical engineering, both in hardware and software. He is very passionate in robotics and automation, especially in the field of Agriculture. Before starting Trabotyx have been building prototypes for onion planting robots for use in his family’s farms.
‘So far it has been an interesting journey, we never worked on a farm before, so we need to really listen to farmers to understand the issues they face. Seeing how much a farmer needs to do, to get products of their land, really deepened our respect for farmers. At the same time, they are facing constantly changing climate conditions and a changing regulatory environment. By providing an autonomous weeding robot, we hope to do our part and make the transition easier.’ Tim Kreukniet continues.
The team of Trabtoyx met during Antler’s second founder cohort in Amsterdam. Youri Doeleman, a Partner at Antler Amsterdam, and the team’s coach, had this to say about the company: “We are incredibly excited for the Trabotyx team. We believe in their mission and see many positive signs for Tim and Mohamed to be successful, especially given the mid-term EU regulatory push to increase organic agricultural production from 8% to 25% by 2030. On the commercial side, the fact they work with farmers regularly and that farmers are participating in this round is the ultimate sign of trust from your customer. We’re so proud of the progress they’ve made since first joining Antler.”
In December of 2020 the company joined the business incubation program of the European Space Agency in the Netherlands, ESA BIC Noordwijk, to leverage space technology for their farming robot. Program manager Martijn Leinweber:
“We are delighted to hear Trabotyx received funding from relevant stakeholders like agrarians and an experienced regional development agency like BOM. Together with our business and technical support, we are confident this investment will bring Trabotyx and their farming robot to the next level. Tim and Mohamed once again show the world how space technologies like high precision localisation and positioning with satellites can help smart farming. Above all, we are extremely happy for this amazing team.”
Author: Tim Kreukniet
Co-founder and CEO at Trabotyx. Learning more about farming and farmers every day.