ARCi

Founded: 2020
Partnered: 2021
Sector:  Agriculture – Mobile conveyor belt (vehicle)
Industry: Agriculture Technology
Product: Agricultural harvesting Robot
Market Size: Local market size: 2 Billion Rands
Differentiation: Arci reduces the harvest costs of blueberries by acting as a conveyor belt for farm works. In addition, the “Distance to market” of Arci is a competitive advantage as the product development is in a farming area where many potential customers are, and the lean operating structure of Arci is an added advantage. Using 3rd party attachments, Arci can be modified to include other priority tasks such as spraying, pest scouting, UV treatment, etc.
Investment Stage: Pre-Seed
Team: Cobus Meyer, Simon Back

ARCi Technologies is an AgriTech startup with the support of Backsberg Estate Cellars in the Cape Winelands area. Their short term vision is to develop an autonomous platform, called ARCi, which significantly improves the efficiency of traditional blueberry harvesting methods. ARCi acts as a mobile conveyor belt, eliminating the need for pickers to carry loads of fruit up and down orchard rows.

In the future we will expand on ARCi’s applications through various 3rd party attachments, enabling it to accomplish a number of essential tasks such as spraying, pest scouting, UV treatment, etc. This provides the farmer not only with valuable insight and peace of mind regarding the status of their crops and operations, but also a tool with which they can act on it.

Value Proposition

ARCi acts as a mobile conveyor belt, eliminating the need for pickers to carry loads of fruit up and down orchard rows. In addition to this, Arci can be used for various farming applications thus reducing the time and labour it takes for tasks to be done. The applications in clude:

  • Harvest assistant in blueberries and table grapes
  • Pruning shoot removal from the orchard
  • Mechanism to report on picking performance linked to daily wages and bonuses
  • 3D mapping of environment
  • Night time surveying
  • Remote security surveillance
  • Smart wheelbarrow for repetitive load carrying tasks

Team

Simon Back - CEO

Simon has a bachelor’s degree in Business Science, Economic (Hons). He has over ten years of agriculture experience. He holds several senior roles in other businesses, including being the CEO of Abackus CC and a director at Backsberg Family wine.

Cobus Meyer - Co-founder

Cobus has a BEng in Electronic Engineering (Stellenbosch University). He has over two years of professional engineering experience at a high-demand software team at Takealot and an additional five years plus in electronic projects completed in the IoT/Agritech industry.

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