Pioneering Robotics for Efficient Soft Fruit Harvesting.
Elbow Beach Capital: Private investment company focused on decarbonisation, sustainable energy, and social impact businesses.
- World’s first precision robotic raspberry harvester
- Mission to boost farm productivity and reduce waste worldwide
- 30% soft fruit left unharvested due to labour shortages
- Fresh raspberry market worth $2.2Bn with 22% annual export growth
The problem: Growers are in desperate need of cost-effective technologies that increase productivity and reduce costs. Agriculture has lagged behind other industries in terms of automation. As a result, increasing worker shortages have led to squeezed margins. The UK alone was short of c.90,000 harvesters in 2020.
The solution: Fieldwork has developed the world’s first precision robotic raspberry harvester focussed on increasing productivity and reducing waste, with the aim of addressing the long-term structural labour shortage worldwide.
The technology: Fieldwork’s modular and multi-crop robots use precision soft-arms and grippers alongside AI-technology to identify when fruit meets specifications for sale.
The first application of Fieldwork’s proprietary robot is for raspberries. Our core customer (Summer Berry Company) already sells raspberries harvested by our robots to supermarkets.
As far as the company is aware, there is currently no other commercially available technology for selective raspberry harvesting.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Fieldwork was established in 2017 and spun out of the University of Plymouth. With years of testing and adaptation behind us, we confidently believe that we have developed some of the best-in-class technology and are proud to already have an established customer selling fruit picked by our robots in UK supermarkets.
Initial field trials of a raspberry harvesting robot were completed in 2019 at the company’s industry partner, paving the way for the current technology and the potential for it to be adapted for other soft fruits and vegetables.
Fruit picked by our robots has successfully passed the strict quality controls required in order to be sold at UK supermarkets.
Raspberries picked by our robots were first sold by The Summer Berry Company in February 2022.
We have now built a team of 14 including:
David Fulton (CEO) who has over 15 years of C-level experience and a background spanning start-ups to multinational corporations incl. Microsoft. Under David's leadership, the team is committed to unlocking the full potential of Fieldwork Robotics machine harvesting capabilities and delivering compelling returns for our investors.
Martin Stoelen (Founder and CSO) who has more than 15 years of experience in RD&I in robotics, and from whose concepts Fieldwork was created. He leads the development of new services.
Andrea Perticati (CTO) who leads the technology development after spending over 20 years in the automotive market, bringing technology from prototype to mass scale manufacture for companies such as Ducatti and Caterpillar.
Henry Jackson-Flux (Head of AI and Software) who worked for Microsoft, Google and Five.Ai.
Fieldwork Robotics plan to generate revenue through three core channels:
1. Harvesting-as-a-Service (HaaS)
Robot ownership will be retained by Fieldwork Robotics, the Robots will be provided to growers for a periodic charge based on the number of berries picked over that period.
The robots will require an operator provided by Fieldwork Robotics; it is intended each operator will manage up to 30 robots.
Presently 30% of the grower's crop remains unharvested going to waste. The robot will initially pick at the same rate a typical picker can harvest, however operate on 3 x shifts, providing 6 days a week harvesting capabilities.
2. Robot Sales + Maintenance
The customer gets the same product output as with the HaaS structure except the customer has ownership of the robot in this model, the benefit to both the customer & Fieldwork Robotics is long-term savings short-term cash injections respectively.
Fieldwork Robotics will continue to earn recurring revenue in the form of robot maintenance.
3. Data Collection & Analysis
All Fieldwork Robotics units will continuously collect data from the crop, enabling customers to receive detailed reports on yield projections and crop maturity percentages.
Use of proceeds
- Hire a part time/fractional CFO
- Increase engineering capability by hiring a team of engineers
- Expand Client Offering (incl. data collection and analysis)
- Enhancement of existing technology
- Business Development Costs/Travel Costs
Please note, £225,000 of the raised funds reflected in the campaign were received by the company in March 2023. This investment is a part of the same round and are on the same terms as Seedrs investors; however, they will receive A Ordinary shares (see share structure below).
Share Class Structure
The Company has 2 classes of shares, A Ordinary shares and Ordinary shares. The shares rank equally in all respects and carry no additional rights but the A Ordinary Shares are held by the lead investor for this round, Elbow Beach Capital.
In this round, Elbow Beach Capital will receive A Ordinary Shares. All other investors in the round, including Seedrs, are receiving Ordinary Shares.
The Company is majority investor owned, with the largest stakes being held by the University of Plymouth Enterprise Limited and Frontier Ip Group. The CEO holds 4% of the fully diluted equity through unvested options.
The Founder & Chief Scientific Officer holds 12.27% of the fully diluted equity and works for the Company on a part time basis.
The lead investor for the round has agreed to “match” the funds raised via Seedrs and from any other direct investor in the round. For every £1 raised, they will invest an additional £1, up to a maximum of £500,000. The matched funds are being reflected on the campaign and the lead investor will receive A Ordinary Shares in return for their investment.
The pre-money valuation for Fieldwork Robotics has been calculated on a fully diluted basis, including all existing rights to equity. In this case, the pre-money valuation on the campaign reflects;
(i) issued shares
(ii) existing options
(iii) loans that converted to equity prior to the Seedrs round
(iv) additional shares being granted to option holders and employees as part of this round for incentivisation
(v) shares issued for £500,000 of investment that was received in September 2022 as part of this round.
Please note that the pre-money valuation of the business, when taking into account only issued share capital and the existing option pool, is £5,982,339.24.
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