Claas takes minority stake in ag-tech start-up AgXeed

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Claas has acquired a minority stake in Dutch ag-tech company AgXeed with the intention of cooperating on the development and commercialisation of autonomous agricultural machines

CLAAS cooperates with start-up AgXeed and acquires minority shareholding
AgBot, which is expected to be launched in 2022, is an autonomous, 156-horsepower diesel-electric machine available in a range of sizes and performance classes and can be fitted with wheels or tracks.

Claas has acquired a minority stake in Dutch ag-tech start-up AgXeed with a ‘cooperative venture’ agreed upon to further develop and commercialise autonomous agricultural machines. 

The cooperative venture will see Class hold a minority stake in AgXeed’s international funding round as part of their commitment to future-proof precision agriculture technologies – something Class says is a ‘logical step’ to meet the shifting landscape of the farming industry. 

Claas Chief Executive Thomas Bock says the agreement aims to be beneficial for both Claas and AgXeed, who are one of Europe’s leading precision agriculture companies in the market today.

"Our involvement provides Claas with access to innovative technologies in a familiar market segment and complements our own expertise in autonomy and robotics," Bock says.

"In turn, AgXeed benefits from our extensive expertise and networks in many areas such as data transfer, interfaces and drivetrain solutions.

"It's a win-win situation in our view and one reason why we decided to invest in this start-up company, as well as the fact that the targeted AgXeed technologies are in an advanced state of development. 

"This solution offers farmers and contractors concrete economic added value, and what’s more, it will soon be available."

AgXeed offers a smart, sustainable and fully autonomous system for farmers, including scalable hardware, virtual planning tools and extensive data models.

The cooperative venture will see AgXeed’s autonomous AgBot to fields, pastures and speciality crops alongside a full suite of vehicle peripherals to provide farmers with assistance for a range of tasks in the future. 

AgBot, which is expected to be launched in 2022, is an autonomous, 156-horsepower diesel-electric machine available in a range of sizes and performance classes and can be fitted with wheels or tracks.

AgXeed says the machine takes care of ‘the monotonous, tedious and dangerous tasks, leaving farmers more time to deal with day-to-day challenges’. Greater efficiency is ensured through the ecosystem of the AgBot’s central web-based planning and analysis which optimises route planning and machine settings. 

"This type of cooperation reflects exactly what we stand for at AgXeed," AgXeed co-founder Joris Hiddema says.

"And this means setting up future-orientated alliances between innovative companies striving for sustainable agriculture where farmers are able to optimize productivity while preserving the soil and the environment.

"In Claas, we have a partner on board that believes in and shares our ideas on the future of agriculture and will accelerate bringing our solutions to the fields of farmers," Hidden adds.

When launched, AgBot will be available with optional, soil-friendly crawler tracks with belt widths varying from 300mm to 910mm as well as a weight of six tonnes (without ballast).

AgBot also features an adjustable track width, load-sensing hydraulics and linkage with a lift capacity of eight tonnes. 

Other optional features include an electric PTO and external high-voltage connections.

AgXeed also says the electric equipment in the AgBot includes all necessary technology required for obstacle detection in addition to the RTK steering system. 

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