Business

Iowa City company raises $7.5 million for drone crop-spraying technology

Agricultural technology company seeks to 'accelerate' expansion in drone-spraying

Rantizo technology director Mike Schmitz installs a new battery into a UAV as he prepares for a demonstration of a Ranti
Rantizo technology director Mike Schmitz installs a new battery into a UAV as he prepares for a demonstration of a Rantizo unmanned aerial vehicle near a vineyard at Fireside Winery in Marengo in April 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Rantizo, an Iowa City-based agricultural technology company, raised $7.5 million in investments “to accelerate company expansion” with drone-spraying technology through its latest round of fundraising, the company announced Wednesday.

Since starting in 2018, the company said it has raised $9 million.

“This year, Rantizo received requests from growers and individuals all over the country looking for drone application services,” said Michael Ott, CEO of Rantizo, in a news release.

“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.”

Rantizo is one of the only companies authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration for drone-spraying in Iowa after obtaining initial approval in July 2019. Since then, Rantizo has received approval for drone-spraying nationwide.

By using autonomous drones instead of traditional crop spraying methods, Rantizo’s use of drones avoids “common issues associated with traditional spraying such as soil compaction, chemical overuse and drift,” according to its news release.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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