Future Acres Inc., a Santa Monica-based food technology company, launched on Feb. 23 with the goal of raising $3 million in a seed funding round.

Future Acres said it will use New York-based SeedInvest, an equity crowdfunding platform, to help raise funding for the round. The company is currently backed by Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners and Wavemaker Labs, the firm's robotics-focused venture studio.

The company’s flagship product is an autonomous “robotic harvest companion” called Carry, which helps farmers pick crops faster. The product can carry up to 500 pounds across any terrain or weather condition using artificial intelligence, automation and electric power, Future Acres said.

According to Future Acres, Carry can increase production efficiency by 30% and “pay for itself” in 80 days. The product costs between $10,000 and $15,000, according to TechCrunch.

Production expenses for farms are expected to increase by $8.6 billion, reaching $353.7 billion, in 2021, in part due to a higher spend on labor, according to a forecast by the Department of Agriculture released Feb. 5.

“The agricultural industry is facing a seemingly never-ending list of challenges on both a financial- and sustainability-level,” Future Acres Chief Executive Suma Reddy said in a statement. “Our vision with Carry was to develop a tool and system that could help alleviate these stressors and move the industry forward by providing a helpful operational solution capable of supporting workers, while also reducing costs.”

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