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Bonsai Robotics brings in $13.5M

Bonsai Robotics, a developer of computer vision automation for harsh off-road settings, has secured $13.5 million in seed funding. The company will leverage the capital to accelerate its product roadmap and boost hiring, sales, and marketing efforts.

Acre Venture Partners led the round, which included participation from E14, Congruent, Serra Ventures, Fall Line Capital, SNR Ventures, and Andros. Notable angel investors included Cobalt Robotics founder Travis Deyle, Blue River Technologies founder Lee Redden, and Plenty founder Matt Barnard.

"To date, GPS-guided computer vision has failed in harvest conditions, necessitating full human operation," said Bonsai co-founder Ugur Oezdemir. "With deep experience in ag tech, autonomous vehicles, and computer vision, we were determined to solve this. We succeeded through advanced 3D techniques using durable automotive cameras - keeping costs low."

Bonsai focuses on bringing autonomy to environments where GPS, stereovision, time-of-flight sensors, and LiDAR often falter. Its first market is nut orchards, where even decades-old autosteer technology struggles.

The company's systems integrate with OEM farm equipment to enable autonomous orchard traversal without human operators. Bonsai utilizes AI SLAM technology trained on tens of thousands of acres to operate through adverse conditions like remote areas, dust, debris, vibration, and unreliable GPS.

This year, California growers like Pomona Farming participated in trials of the technology. "The results from Bonsai were outstanding," said Pomona's Ceil Howe. "The system seamlessly adapted to any field and let us harvest faster than with traditional shakers alone. This is the most transformative ag tech since GPS - it will redefine orchard management and harvesting."

"Early feedback from OEMs and growers has been fantastic," said Bonsai CEO Tyler Niday. "With our use case proven, Bonsai can now expand into other agriculture areas and rugged environments. We're grateful to our investors and customers for their support as we continue to innovate."

Bonsai already works with key OEMs in orchards including OMC and Flory Industries, alongside strategic partner Danfoss.

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