Agricultural technology company Rantizo announced today it has raised $7.5 million in series A funding led by Leaps by Bayer and several premiere ag tech investors and strategic partners including: Fall Line Capital, Innova Memphis, Lewis & Clark Ventures, KZValve, and Sukup Manufacturing.
Additional participants in the round include ISA Ventures, AgVentures Alliance and other angels, which brings Rantizo’s total funding raised to date to nearly $9 million. Founded in 2018, Rantizo has developed a platform that integrates with imagery companies to identify issues and deliver precise in-field applications with autonomous drones. In July of 2019, Rantizo received initial FAA approval for single drone spraying operations becoming the first and only company approved for drone spraying in the state of Iowa. Less than a year later, the company became the first to gain approval for nationwide swarming for agricultural spraying, flying up to three drones at once.
Farmers can request Rantizo drone application services such as precise spraying and cover crop broadcasting. To fulfill those requests, a nationwide network of Rantizo Application Services Contractors are provided with a turnkey system in which they purchase drone equipment through Rantizo and gain all licensing, training, and certifications necessary to legally Fly & Apply.
Through their end-to-end solution, Rantizo offers a way for growers to bridge the gap between analysis of their fields to actionable applications, while drastically reducing common issues associated with traditional spraying such as soil compaction, chemical overuse, and drift.
Farmers also reap new benefits such as carbon sequestration, soil health improvement and more timely application of crop care products stated Ben Riensche, Owner & Manager of Blue Diamond Farming Company out of Jesup, Iowa. “We utilized Rantizo for aerial application services and cover crop seeding on the farm,” Riensche explained.
“The current row crop production model no longer has much, if any, margin in it. Machine costs are simply too high and most innovation is just focused on producing more yield, not necessarily more profit. Rantizo gives me an opportunity to apply crop care products with a fraction of the investment of a large commercial sprayer. Also, aerial seeding of cover crops will
place me in the perfect spot to participate in the rapidly developing carbon sequestration marketplace, as well as simply be a better steward of the land,” Riensche added.
Currently, Rantizo service providers are primarily focused in the Midwest and can be found from the west coast to as far east as Pennsylvania. Expanding Rantizo’s Contractor network into additional geographies is a key purpose for the funding round according to CEO, Michael Ott who stated that the 2020 season saw a drastic uptick in business.
“This year, Rantizo received requests from growers and individuals all over the country looking for drone application services,” Ott explained. “We did our best to fulfill those and realize that we need to continue to expand our network,” he continued. “We want to make sure we have Rantizo Application Services providers in place to keep up with demand. Securing this funding is a crucial piece of that strategy,” he added.
Beyond Rantizo’s Contractor expansion, Ott stated that funds will be used to bring on best-in-class team additions needed to ramp up technology development for projects related to crop pollination, data management, and automation of the entire drone application process.
“Breakthrough innovation in agriculture that drives sustainable solutions is one of the 10 areas we are focusing on with our impact investment arm”, said Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer.”Rantizo’s platform has the potential to have a lot of impact in this field. It allows for precision pest control while reducing soil compaction, leading to more breathable land and reduces carbon emission from traditional sprayers all while enabling improved farmer profitability. This is better for the crop, better for the land, and better for the farmer; leading us towards a more sustainable food supply.”