Wired Africa

Aerobotics helps farmers to protect their lands from pests and diseases

Launched four years ago, the South African start-up Aerobotics, present in about 10 countries, offers farmers a detailed analysis of the state of their crops.

A young South African start-up founded 4 years ago. Last July, it raised more than $2 million in Series A. Funds that will be used “for our expansion in South Africa and the United States,” explains its administrative and financial director, Timothy Willis.

Investors quickly became interested in the startup entering the market: their seed fundraising in the summer of 2017 amounted to $650,000, provided by the 4Di Capital and Savannah Fund funds. A year later, South African bank Nedbank became the main supporter in their Series A fundraising campaign, which raised more than $2 million.

Aerobotics currently has about 500 arboriculturists who use satellite and drone imagery to identify trees at risk. Far from its beginnings in a garage in Cape Town, the start-up no longer manufactures its own drones. “We have a network of service providers and offer our customers a package of three drones flights a year, as well as satellite images provided by Sentinel, the European Space Agency,” explains Timothy Willis.

While the vast majority – 90% – of their customers are in South Africa, the contractors have embarked on an international expansion drive, and Aerobotics UAVs are now present in more than 10 countries, including the United States. A successful strategy: between July and November 2018, the company doubled the number of trees analyzed by its platform from 5 million to 10 million, each tree representing an important source of data. “The last million trees, we reached it in five days,” add Timothy Willis.


Amine Benkeroum

A 26 yo geek from Morocco, who loves innovation, startups, new technologies and meet smart people to improve my skills and build new technologies.

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