TechBrew Robotics, a startup focused on overcoming the labor-intensive obstacles in the mushroom industry, has reached a significant milestone. The company is undergoing a rebranding as 4AG Robotics, pronounced "Forage," and has secured $17.5 million in equity financing. This funding, a transformative round, is led by BDC Capital's Industrial Innovation Venture Fund and InBC Investment Corp. (InBC), with contributions from Emmertech, Jim Richardson Family Office, Lex Capital, and various angel investors throughout Canada. Notably, this investment represents InBC's first direct investment in a company, utilizing its $500 million public fund.
4AG Robotics is at the forefront of tackling a critical challenge in the mushroom industry—the labor-intensive nature of mushroom harvesting. Mushrooms flourish in dark and humid conditions, doubling in size every 24 hours. Their delicate nature, even more fragile than tomatoes, presents a substantial challenge for automation in tasks like picking, trimming, and packing. Given the highly perishable nature of mushrooms and the complex logistical and labor challenges faced by innovative farmers in the sector, there is an urgent need for automated solutions. 4AG Robotics is committed to providing this transformative solution and has already secured purchase orders from farms in Canada and Europe.
Sean O'Connor, CEO of 4AG Robotics, expressed enthusiasm about this significant development, stating, "We believe that we can establish a globally successful robotics company, headquartered here in Salmon Arm, and are eager to expand our team. We are excited about the caliber of this investment group and the support we can rely on in these crucial years ahead. Drawing from the deep agtech experience of BDC Capital and Emmertech, along with the fresh perspective and energy from InBC's new fund, positions us well for success."
Joseph Regan, Managing Partner at BDC Capital's Industrial Innovation Venture Fund, expressed confidence in 4AG Robotics' ability to lead the global mushroom harvesting industry. He emphasized that their technology contributes to more efficient and sustainable mushroom growth, while also addressing the industry's persistent labor challenges. Regan expressed excitement about this market-driven solution addressing a significant global problem.