Meet Farm-ng, a Bay Area-based tech startup founded during the early days of the pandemic, is making strides in the agricultural robotics sector with its modular robot system, Amiga. The agriculture industry is increasingly turning to robotics to address challenges related to labor-intensive work, long hours, and difficulty in hiring and retaining staff. Unlike many startups that focus on specific tasks such as weeding or apple picking, Farm-ng’s Amiga is designed as a modular system, allowing it to be deployed for a broad range of agricultural tasks.
The concept of modularity emerged from Farm-ng’s collaboration with farmers in California’s Pajaro Valley and Salinas Valley. The Amiga system is described as “Legos for farm customers,” enabling them to build their own solutions at a low cost. The modular approach facilitates easy adaptation, maintenance, and extension of the software to suit the diverse needs of farmers.
Claire Delaunay, CTO of Farm-ng and a former Nvidia executive, explained the importance of modularity in agriculture, drawing parallels with the existing modularity in tractors. Tractors are known for their modular design, with distributors and integrators customizing them for different crops and farming practices.
Farm-ng recently announced a $10 million Series A funding round led by Acre Venture Partners. This fresh funding comes after raising a seed round in March the previous year. The startup has already deployed approximately 100 Amiga units in less than 18 months. The new funding will be utilized to scale up production at Farm-ng’s manufacturing plant in Watsonville, located in the Pajaro Valley.
Farm-ng promises a quick return on investment (ROI) for the Amiga systems deployed in the field. According to Delaunay, the integration of Amigas in farming operations has resulted in significant time and cost efficiencies for customers. In one study, the Amiga reduced weekly labor time by 50% to 80% in various use cases, including seeding, weeding, and compost spreading. Concrete data on their robotic system’s impact is expected after one to two growing seasons, but anecdotal feedback from customers suggests excitement about the streamlined operation that Amiga provides.