$20 million for Iron Ox – the world’s first fully autonomous farm

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At their hydroponic indoor farm in California, Iron Ox have been developing the world’s first fully autonomous farm. Bathed in natural sunlight, their self-driving robots and AI brain work together to sow, transplant, grow and harvest edibles for market. The associated 24/7 efficiencies and detailed plant-by-plant tracking help an acre of Iron Ox land produce a crop yield equal to thirty acres of regular farmland. It’s impressive stuff and this week the company closed $20 million in a Series B funding round.

Companies like Iron Ox show us what’s possible when a group of incredibly talented, cross-industry professionals are assembled to tackle a pressing global problem. Robotics and artificial intelligence can provide solutions to lower the cost of fresh, local produce while increasing its quality, cleanliness and availability to more communities. We’re excited to be part of Iron Ox’s journey in the years to come,” said Ryan Gembala, one of the lead investors for the round and Founder and Managing Partner at Pathbreaker Ventures (who also led Iron Ox’s Pre-Seed round four years ago).

The folks at Iron Ox are set on producing large quantities of pesticide-free vegetables in local urban settings to reduce the many thousands of food miles associated with traditional farming. Healthy fresh crops grown with 90% less water with a positive impact on sustainability and food security.

A robotic arm which transplants seedlings from tray to tray as they grow

A robotic arm which transplants seedlings from tray to tray as they grow

In addition to the Series B funding the company also announced the opening of their Gilroy, California farm, which is successfully delivering fresh produce throughout California to select restaurants and retailers.

We have made it our mission to address food security by developing autonomous greenhouses that grow a variety of local and consistently delicious food for everyone. Today, we’re thrilled to announce the successful operation of our Gilroy farm as well as our consumer brand, and our plans to complete additional sunlight-enabled, out-of-state facilities in 2021. As our growing network expands, so too will our partnerships and distribution channels, which will enable us to delight even more customers,” said Brandon Alexander, Iron Ox CEO & Co-founder.

Iron Ox founders Brandon Alexander (left) and Jon Binney

Iron Ox founders Brandon Alexander (left) and Jon Binney

Images from Iron Ox

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About Author

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Matt has worked in digital publishing for twenty years, holding management positions at Nature (nature.com) and William Reed Business Media (foodmanufacture.co.uk, thegrocer.co.uk etc). He has also worked with Wiley Interscience, The IET, Centaur Publishing and BBC Worldwide. Since 2010 Matt has been a digital consultant working with B2B media & event companies in the agricultural, automotive, aviation and technology sectors. His private passion is growing his own food (on three allotments) and chasing the dream of a one tonne giant pumpkin. He is a member of the British Garden Media Guild and was a finalist in the Garden Media Guild Awards 'blog of the year' category in 2018 and 2019.

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