- Zordi, an ag-tech startup, has secured $20 million in funding from Khosla Ventures.
- The company specializes in autonomous greenhouses that use AI and robotics to optimize crop care.
- Zordi’s second autonomous greenhouse is now operational in New Jersey, just 2.5 hours away from NYC.
- The company aims to reduce labor costs by 80% and make greenhouse farming scalable and cost-efficient.
- Zordi’s flagship product, ultra-sweet strawberries, has received positive feedback from retail partners in NY and NJ.
Zordi, an emerging ag-tech startup backed by Khosla Ventures, has announced a $20 million funding round as it comes out of stealth mode. The company specializes in autonomous greenhouses with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. With a focus on delivering premium fresh produce to urban areas, Zordi has inaugurated its second autonomous greenhouse in New Jersey, following a successful year of research and development in Western New York.
Addressing the Challenges of Greenhouse Farming
Greenhouse farming is considered a sustainable and climate-resistant method for growing fresh produce, but comes with challenges. “Greenhouse farming demands significant labor and expertise to direct complex crop care decisions,” says Gilwoo Lee, Zordi’s founder and CEO. Zordi aims to tackle these challenges by integrating AI and robotics into its operations, reducing labor requirements by up to 80%, and autonomously making critical crop care decisions.
Zordi’s technology leverages naturally lit greenhouse designs that have been produced for decades. The company’s robots can adapt to various greenhouse types, from low-cost hoop houses to high-tech Venlo glasshouses. The AutoGrow system termed the “brain” of the operation, works in synergy with advanced robots, the “hands and eyes,” to provide real-time data for optimal crop care choices, including pest control, pruning, and harvesting.
Leadership and Team
The company’s leadership includes Gilwoo Lee, an MIT alumnus with machine learning and robotics expertise, and co-founder Casey Call, who brings generations of farming experience. They are joined by Ryan Knopf, co-founder and CTO of Root AI, and Suk Hwan Choi, an expert in modular construction.
Quality Produce and Future Plans
Zordi’s flagship product, ultra-sweet strawberries, has already received a commendation from New York and New Jersey retail partners. “We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback on our strawberry quality,” says Gilwoo Lee. The company plans to expand its product offerings this fall.