07 Nov 2022



Cutting-edge robotics company SAGA Robotics plans expansion in the UK and abroad thanks to new funding.

Norwegian agrotechnology company SAGA Robotics has raised £8.5 million to accelerate its growth in the UK strawberry sector and accelerate further expansion internationally.

Since 2014, the company has been developing its autonomous agricultural robot, Thorvald, which enables smarter farming by simultaneously performing several integrated pest management tasks. The robot has been the focus of the Robot Highways project at Clock House Farm, achieving encouraging results since the project was unveiled in 2020.

Thorvald, the state-of-the-art robot from SAGA Robotics.

According to SAGA, Thorvald supports strawberry growers by performing frequent and time-consuming tasks to achieve increased yield, reduced CO2 emissions, and more sustainable production.

Norwegian industrial investment firm Aker has invested £4.3 million in Saga in exchange for a 13.5 percent stake in the company. Aker joins existing shareholders Nysnø Climate Investment, Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, and Hatteland, which have invested an additional £3.4 million, and together now own 31.2 percent of Saga Robotics. Other shareholders include the London-based Cibus Enterprise fund.

Øyvind Eriksen, CEO of Aker ASA. Photo by Aker ASA.

Anne Dingstad, newly appointed CEO of SAGA, said, "Aker is Norway's leading industrial company, so we are naturally very pleased that they are joining our ownership group. As partners, they will bring tremendous experience to Saga Robotics, and together we will further develop the company and contribute to sustainable, modernized and efficient agriculture."

Saga Robotics currently has more than 50 Thorvald robots in operation in five countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, and Norway.

Anne Dingstad, CEO of Saga Robotics.
Anne Dingstad, CEO of SAGA Robotics. Photo by Saga Robotics.

In Britain, the robot is used in more than 30 hectares of polytunnel strawberry production at Clock House Farm in Kent. In addition, Thorvald has attracted strong interest from several other British strawberry growers, and Saga said the new funding will help facilitate its expansion.

Outside the UK, a slightly taller version of the robot is also used in viticulture.

"Saga Robotics has developed technologies and solutions that will modernize and decarbonize agriculture, with the goal of contributing to zero emissions by 2050," said Martin Bech Holte, director of Aker ASA, which will lead the venture section of Aker's newly launched asset management platform as "Industry Capital Partners."

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