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This startup is making smart, fully electric, and driverless tractor with $61M funding

Monarch Tractor
Image credits: Monarch Tractor

One cannot deny the growing popularity of e-vehicles! And it’s doesn’t end with the roads. EUV (Electric Utility Vehicle) is also slowly grabbing the public’s attention, and tractors are no exception.

Currently, e-Tractors are increasingly considered as an ideal/alternative option to accelerate the future of clean farming. E-tractor can be of great help for farmers who are going through numerous challenges, from labor shortages to safety concerns to effects of climate change and more. 

Based out of Livermore, California, Monarch Tractor is on a mission to eliminate diesel fuel and replaces harmful chemicals with a mechanical solution. As a result, the company introduced the world’s first fully electric, autonomous tractor — MK-V.

Secured $61M

Recently, the company raised $61M funding in a Series B round led by Astanor Ventures, with additional contributions from CNH Industrial, At One Ventures, and Trimble Ventures. 

The $61M funds will enable the company to scale its sales, services, and manufacturing footprint. The company also wants to expand its product portfolio and launch international pilot programs for regional market validation. 

The latest funding announcement comes seven months after securing $20M in a Series A round led by Musashi Seimitsu Industry, a Japanese global auto parts company. 

Investor: Astanor Ventures

Based out of Brussels, Astanor Ventures is a VC company focusing on entrepreneurs regenerating the food, blue ocean economy, and agriculture sector. The VC firm focuses on technology-enabled companies across the agri-food value chain. 

“Monarch is transforming the most important vehicle on the planet, tractors,” says Hendrik Van Asbroeck, Partner at Astanor Ventures. 

“Tractors emit 14 times more than a car and have not seen the same wave of digital innovation. Beyond an affordable, clean, and autonomous solution, Monarch‘s tractors take detailed on-farm data to enable the sustainable and efficient farms of the future.”

How Monarch Tractor helps farmers?

With MK-V, Monarch Tractor addresses various issues by combining automation, electrification, data analysis, and machine learning, to enhance farmer’s operation, increase safety, labor productivity, and maximise yields to cut overhead costs and emissions.

Farmers have been ignored in the automation and electrification movement, and that’s why we built with them in mind,” says Praveen Penmetsa, co-founder & CEO, Monarch Tractor. 

He adds, “Due to the ever-increasing labor challenges, food traceability, sustainability concerns, and scrutiny issues, we have experienced a huge demand for the Monarch Tractor.” 

What makes Monarch Tractor unique?

Monarch Tractor is moving farming towards a sustainable and safer future with a range of features, including:

Renewable Technology: It is 100% electric with zero tailpipe emissions. It also serves as a 3-in-1 electrification tool – a tractor, All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), and a powerful generator.

Driver Optional: The tractor can operate with or without a driver, thanks to autonomous hardware and software technology. 

Safety: The Monarch tractor comes equipped with safety features like roll and collision prevention, 360° cameras, and vision-based Power Take-Off (PTO) safety.

Deep Learning & Sensing Suite: The tractor collects and analyse 240GB of crop data every day. Using machine learning, it can provide long-term analysis of field health, and improve long-term accuracy as well. 

Smart Device Operation: Users can receive tractor alerts, data collection, analysis, updates on micro-weather conditions, detailed operations reports, and storage for more efficient farm planning.

Power: Monarch Tractor is capable of providing 40HP (30KW) of continuous power and short duration peak power up to 70HP (55KW). 

Battery: The tractor has a battery runtime of 10+ hours with a charging time of 4-5 hours.

Monarch Tractor has a starting price of $50,000 and can be reserved now with a $500 deposit. The shipping will commence in Fall 2021, says the company in a press release. You can check out the vehicle in its full glory in the video below:

Video credits: Monarch Tractor
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