Science

Naïo Technologies raises 32 million euros and plans to build 1,000 agricultural robots by 2025.

Just over a decade after its inception, Naïo Technologies is taking a new step. The company, based in Escalcens, south of Toulouse, announces this Thursday, December 8, the completion of a €32 million fundraiser led by Global, a sustainable investment subsidiary of Natixis, with historical investors as well as regional M funds Capital and the Regional Agency for Strategic Investments in Occitania (Aris). The company has already raised $14 million in 2019.

Labor shortage in the face of hardship

Naïo Technologies now has four electric robots capable of weeding several hectares of vegetable crops and vineyards a day with an accuracy of a few centimeters. These mechanical weeders provide an alternative to weeding with environmentally harmful chemicals such as glyphosate.

“In order to improve agricultural technology, we are also talking about the construction of permanent shelters, increasing the rotation of plots and the diversity of planted crops. All this requires more intervention in weed control and more complexity in management, therefore, there is an increasing need to automate certain tasks with the help of robots. Agricultural robotics is a tool to support more sustainable farming practices,” says Gaetan Severak, co-founder of Naïo Technologies.

Before adding:

The agricultural sector in both Europe and North America is facing labor shortages. The hardest hit were the most labor-intensive occupations, such as weeding or handpicking. But even more highly trained professions, such as tractor drivers, are also under pressure. We must recreate the attraction and improve the technology of the machines used.»

In addition to reducing physical activity, the use of electric robots also reduces the carbon footprint of this activity.

Sales takeoff

All of these factors could explain Naïo Technologies’ projected sales growth in the coming years.

We have already sold 300 robots through a network of approximately 30 distributors in Europe and North America and aim to have 1,000 robots in service by 2025 due to rising demand. A few years ago it was necessary to evangelize convince of the usefulness and relevance of agricultural robotics. Within two years, we have seen a paradigm shift. Most farmers see robotics as an integral part of their tool line. This speeds up sales,” adds the co-founder of Naïo Technologies.

“The technology deployed by Naïo Technologies has now shown a very convincing environmental impact. This fundraising allows it to have the resources to move into this phase of industrialization and commercial development to achieve profitability,” recalls Mark Romano, head of the department. influence of private capital in the house Mirov.

Expansion in Europe and North America

Naïo Technologies has already conquered seed companies Korteva and Syngenta. As well as Hennessy, the world leader in the production of cognac, the Grands Chais de France group, the world’s leading French exporter, as well as the Labegors estate in the Château Margaux appellation.

With this fundraiser, the Toulouse nugget wants to expand its international influence. In Europe, Naïo robots are already crossing German, British, Danish, Italian, Swiss and soon Spanish fields. The company is also developing in Austria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia with the aim of eventually conquering the entire European continent.

Across the Atlantic, Naïo Technologies’ California offices have a ten-person team. The company primarily focuses on the west and east coasts of the United States, as well as the Great Lakes region. where vegetable growers and viticulturists are concentrated. In the Americas, Naïo Technologies offers on-demand service for robot sharing between multiple farms in the same geographic area. The company, which did not wish to report its turnover, currently has 70 employees and continues to recruit.

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