What began as a student project has now developed into a successful start-up. In 2015, co-founders William Simmonds (CEO) and Lucien Fesselet (CTO) started experimenting with drones in greenhouses to collect data about crops under the name Applied Drone Innovations. During the trials, they realized that their added value did not lie in drones, but in data. This shifted ADI’s focus to developing smart eyes and specializing in software analysis to obtain efficient and reliable information from the crop. The start-up's development has attracted the interest of several investors, including collaborative partner Atrium Agri. They are investing in the company of founders William Simmonds and Lucien Fesselet, and explain why below.
CEO William Simmonds explains that, “using the power of technology and innovation, ADI develops robotic platforms with smart eyes and artificial intelligence to make horticultural production future-proof to serve the growing global population. We are enabling growers to step into ‘The Age of Data’."
The investors raise their glass with ADI
“This investment allows us to plan for the future. We consider multi-layer growing to be an achievable concept. If the crop becomes more difficult to access, we will need additional ‘eyes’. We believe that innovation in this area requires a positive push from the industry. ADI is already at a stage where it can offer saleable solutions. They are supported by a number of acclaimed entrepreneurs with wide experience in the food and agricultural sectors. Our ultimate goal is not so much to earn money from this investment, but to promote innovation and acquire knowledge,” explains Koen Brabander.
CTO Lucien Fesselet with AgriData Innovations
Pim van Geest, lead business developer at ADI, is proud of what the company has achieved so far. “I think it’s really fantastic that we have been able to find such a great club of ‘Angel Investors’, including Atrium Agri. We are on a mission to make autonomous data-driven cultivation possible. Our goal for the future is to have smart eyes collecting usable data in every enclosed agricultural environment (vertical farming and greenhouses). These investors will definitely be playing a part in this.”
Atrium Agri is a collaboration of entrepreneurs within the international horticultural sector. The partners form a knowledge platform in the areas of total cultivation concepts, greenhouse construction, water, climate, automation, energy, and consultancy. Atrium Agri comprises the following companies: Havecon, VB Group, PB tec, PB sys, Bom Group, VEK Adviesgroep, CambridgeHOK, and JB Hydroponics.