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Rantizo raises $7.5 million Series A Round
Iowa City-based agtech company Rantizo announced today it has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Leaps by Bayer and several agtech 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,…
Rantizo receives FAA approval to operate drone swarms
Iowa City-based startup Rantizo has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operation of multiple drone swarms nationwide. This allows Rantizo to operate three autonomous drone sprayers by a single pilot and one visual observer.  “Our vision is to Fly & Apply on large areas with autonomous drone sprayers, so swarming is…
Rantizo is using drone technology to sanitize stadiums
Agtech company Rantizo is preparing to use its drone spraying technology in new ways this spring. The Iowa City based startup has began partnerships with several large venues for sanitization efforts. The efforts will utilize Rantizo’s drone spraying platform to sanitize open areas and seating for the return of spectator events that have been…
Rantizo partners with Sony on agtech collaboration
Iowa City-based startup Rantizo has been named one of four agtech companies partnering with Sony Electronics to integrate its Smart Agriculture Solution into its farming solutions.  Sony's Smart Agriculture Solution revolves around a combination of sophisticated dual camera technology and analytics software, designed to support day-to-day crop management by collecting and analyzing growth data. Version 2.0 combines high-resolution drone…
Middle Bit: Rantizo expands its drone spraying into Wisconsin
Iowa City agtech startup Rantizo has received approval from Federal Aviation Administration to provide drone spraying services in Wisconsin, broadening its approved operating territory in the Midwest. Last month, Rantizo became the first company in the state of Iowa approved for drone based agricultural spraying.  “Since announcing our approval for drone spraying in Iowa, just…
IEDA provides funding to five Iowa startups
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today approved innovation funding for five startups located in Altoona, Le Claire, West Des Moines and Iowa City.  In total, the IEDA awarded $500,000 in funding. Here are the five startups that received funding: HomePainter HomePainter, based in Des Moines, has developed an online estimating tool that provides homeowners with…
Rantizo
Rantizo is bringing drone technology to the ag industry
This story is part of a series that will look at and profile each of the six startups in NewBoCo’s Fall 2018 accelerator programs. An Iowa City-based agtech startup is looking to change the way we spray crops. Rantizo uses drone technology to spray crops, allowing farmers to more precisely deliver chemicals, such as fertilizer, to their fields. Instead…
Rantizo Archives | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at mpatane@clayandmilk.com.
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