Aerobotics Success Story: Optimize and protect your yields, season after season

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As the global population reaches 7.9 billion in November 2022 and is projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, food security has become one of the major concerns across the world. With the scarcity of resources, there is a need to leverage advanced technology in agricultural practices to expand agricultural outputs.

It has been reported that with emerging agritech startups, the global agrotechnology market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% during 2020-2027. Since agriculture remains the main source of livelihood for a huge proportion of people, its crucial to address agricultural challenges.

Aerobotics is an agritech company set up for helping farmers improve their crop performance and production with AI-driven data analytics. Going through this article, you will know important details of the company- its founders, startup story, services, funding, growth, and more.

Aerobotics – Company Highlights

  • Company Name-Aerobotics
  • Headquarters-Cape Town, Western Cape, Africa
  • Primary Industry-Agrotechnology
  • Founders-James Paterson and Benji Meltzer
  • Founded In-2014

Aerobotics - About

  • Aerobotics is a data analytics South Africa-based company that uses aerial imagery and machine learning algorithms for detecting pests and diseases in tree crops and optimizing crop performance for farmers worldwide. The company makes it possible for farmers to interact with this valuable data through its web and mobile applications.
  • It has two main offices in Africa and the United States along with Sales Managers working remotely and spending their day on the ground with its growers across the world. Moreover, the company has been able to help farmers manage more than 65 million trees with clients in 18 countries, including America, Africa, Australia, Spain, and Europe.

Aerobotics - Founders and Team

James Paterson and Benji Meltzer are co-founders of the company.

James Paterson

  • Along with the co-founder, James Paterson is the CEO of Aerobotics. He completed his Master's in MSc, Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Benji Meltzer

  • Benji Meltzer is a co-founder and CTO of Aerobotics. He graduated from Imperial College London with a degree in MSc, Biomedical/Medical Engineering – Neurotechnology Specialization. He has also held the role of Business Analyst at The Cyest Corporation and Operations and Logistics Manager at Uber.
  • The size of the company’s team today is over 80 people, ranging from agronomists, engineers, creatives, product developers, and customer service experts.

Aerobotics - Startup Story

  • James Paterson grew up on a farm located outside of Cape Town and there he learned the challenges faced by his family and community of growers. After years, he met Benji Meltzer and they both decided to see how their combined skills can be used in aeronautics, machine learning, and aerial imagery to solve crop-related problems. They took drones and flew them on James’ family farm.
  • Soon, they were able to validate that artificial intelligence could be used to process aerial imagery and identify problems invisible to the farmers. Aerobotics was established as an agritech startup in 2014. They generated insights for more than 100 million trees to help growers, insurers, and investors improve their production and profitability.

Aerobotics - Mission and Vision

  • The vision and mission of Aerobotics are to provide intelligent tools for feeding the world.

Aerobotics - Products and Services

  • The company is known for offering two primary solutions – Farm and Insure. It offers a Tree Insights service that supports citrus, pome, stone, berries, grapes, nuts, olives, subtropical fruit, and pomegranates.
  • Moreover, it offers traditional crop insurance, precision crop insurance, detailed acre analysis, and optimal premiums through Insure solution. Aerobotics has developed two apps named Aeroview Scout and Aeroview InField.

Aerobotics - Business Model

  • Aerobotics uses a combination of drone and satellite imagery for providing its customers with valuable insights into their farms. The imagery is further uploaded onto servers and then data analysis is conducted. With the help of data procured by the company, farmers can identify underperforming areas, including nutrient deficiencies, pest infestations, and irrigation problems, and also monitor the progression of the season.
  • Moreover, its advanced tree-counting technology aids farmers to know the plan count per block, per crop, and per cultivator. The company delivers customers’ Tree Insights within 4 to 7 days for serviced flights after their data has been flown and 3 to 7 days for self-serviced flights when the upload is completed.

Aerobotics - Funding and Investors

  • Aerobotics has undertaken 7 funding rounds. The latest funding round- ‘Series B’ took place on December 11, 2020. Currently, it’s supported by 17 investors with 6 as lead investors, including FMO, Cathay Innovation, Naspers, BossaNova Investimentos, and Endeavor.

Aerobotics - Patents and Trademarks

  • The intellectual property of Aerobotics comprises 4 registered patents primarily in the category of ‘Computing’ and ‘Calculating.’

Aerobotics - Growth

  • The estimated annual revenue of the company in 2022 is $12.9 million per year ($145,000 per employee). Moreover, the employee count increased by 3%, and monthly web visits growth grew by 18.48%.

Aerobotics - Awards and Achievements

In the last 2 years, Aerobotics successfully captured 20% of South Africa’s citrus market and 40% of its macadamia market in the last six months. In addition, the company has received multiple industry-related prestigious awards. A few major achievements are:

  • Selected as one of 24 startups to be part of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator in 2018
  • Won AfricArea VivaTech Challenge
  • President Macron Tech Award
  • Innovator of the Year Award at the All Africa Business Leader Awards

Aerobotics - Competitors

The company ranks 1st among its 364 competitors and some of these include:

  • AUS
  • SeeTree
  • Marut Drones
  • Sentera
  • StructureIt
  • Realm Digital

Aerobotics - Future Plans

  • The main plan of the company is to develop diagnostic functions.


Who is the CEO of Aerobotics?

  • James Paterson is the Co-Founder and CEO at Aerobotics.

What does Aerobotics do?

  • Aerobotics is an agritech company set up for helping farmers improve their crop performance and production with AI-driven data analytics.

Who are the competitors of Aerobotics?

Competitors of Aerobotics include:

  • AUS
  • SeeTree
  • Marut Drones
  • Sentera
  • StructureIt
  • Realm Digital

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