Bloomfield Robotics' year of growth continues with more funding on the (farm) horizon

Bloomfield Robotics’ year of growth continues with more funding on the (farm) horizon

Bloomfield Robotics He spent 2022 growing. It’s not just the crops that the agri-tech company’s computer vision and AI technology aim to help farmers, breeders, and scientists understand better.

Founded in 2019 as a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University, Bloomfield uses artificial intelligence and custom imaging devices to tackle challenges related to growing specialty crops. Since last June, the startup has ranked first The future of life online challenge from Akamai TechnologiesHe secured international partnerships, and found a new office space to call home. In addition to the CEO Mark DeSantis Tell Technical That if all went according to plan, Bloomfield would have managed to raise $4 million in her latest fundraising round.

It’s not completely closed, but we’re almost done,” DeSantis said this week. “We are just waiting for a couple of strategic investors, and then we will finally close the round here very soon. But it is almost complete.”

(Of note, newer Venture Monitor The report cites a $6 million increase for the company in the second quarter of 2022. This report only filters out completed deals, according to a spokesperson, though numbers sometimes change in subsequent reports as Venture Monitor learns new information about existing deals..)

After the increase, DeSantis, who also co-founded Pittsburgh AI RoadBoticsHe is looking to shift focus from fundraising to other projects and interacting with clients. Additionally, because of the “strategic” investors DeSantis flirts with previously invested entities, ending this round would be a sign of continued commitment and belief in the company’s mission, he said.

Investors identified at the time of the $1.8 million Bloomfield round announced in December 2021 include the Japanese agricultural equipment company. KubotaAnd the peace momentum And the svg flourishand the latter are accelerators that included start-ups in previous regiments.

In addition to fundraising, another fall focus for the startup is harvesting — in some places, anyway. Harvest times for clients can vary, as Bloomfield is an agricultural technology company with partnerships in places like France, California, Peru and Italy which each have different climates. DeSantis said that in places where the grapes grow, such as Keystone and Sunshine states, the company’s harvest analysis technology is ready to use, which has kept the company busy. In the future, the goal is to branch out to other climates, particularly those that produce blueberries.

“One of our company’s strategies is not just to be in the Northern Hemisphere, but to really be a year-round company,” said the CEO. And to do that you want to have clients in the southern hemisphere. This is very exciting. And the [we] He called it Project Blueberry.”

Bloomfield acquired a new address in September when she moved from a co-working space to an office in Lawrenceville. DeSantis described the move as a necessary change to accommodate the company’s growing number of employees, which currently number 18.

However, with the name, recently acquired headquarters and desire to stay near CMU where its roots are, DeSantis said Bloomfield Robotics will always be a Pittsburgh company.

“We are very focused on Pittsburgh. We have offices in France and Northern California, and they do a great job of dealing with our customers locally. After all, there are a lot of grapes in California and for and so you want to have a presence there,” DeSantis said. “But we intend to maintain the main focus and most employees in Pittsburgh.”

Atiya Ervin-Mitchell is a member of the 2022-2023 team for Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that brings together young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by Heinz Endowments. -30-

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