NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bowery Farming, the largest vertical farming company in the U.S., has acquired Traptic, a company utilizing computer vision, robotic arms and artificial intelligence (AI), to harvest fruiting, vine and other delicate crops, including strawberries, tomatoes and more.
Supplementing Bowery’s world-class robotics technology already deployed in its network, Traptic technology will accelerate the commercialization of fruiting and vine crops. Bowery will be the first indoor farming company to use Traptic technology.
Traptic combines 3D cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) with robotic arms equipped with a unique gripper to harvest fragile fruit and vine crops. The vision system utilizes 3D cameras and neural networks to distinguish ripe from unripe produce, and determines their position with millimeter-precision.
Then the AI figures out how the robotic arms should move to pick the ripe crops from their plants. Traptic’s technology works 24 hours per day, reduces food waste up to 20%, and increases yields of high-quality, blemish-free produce.
“Traptic is the perfect complement to Bowery’s industry-leading technological advances,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of Bowery Farming. “The dexterity and precision of Traptic’s robotic arm movement engineered by 3D localization and pathing is very exciting. By joining forces with Traptic, Bowery’s network of smart indoor farms will achieve another level of technological sophistication and maturity.”
The acquisition of Traptic coincides with the first phase of Bowery’s commercial launch of Strawberries this spring. Technology developed by Traptic will play a significant role in scaling Bowery’s Strawberries, other fruiting and vine crops across communities in the U.S. and eventually the globe.
Traptic developed revolutionary technology that delicately harvests strawberries, and has additional applications, including assisting with pollination, pruning, and thinning, along with harvesting other crops like tomatoes and basil.
Traptic’s technology will seamlessly integrate into the Bowery’s network of farms powered by its proprietary BoweryOS, which uses software, hardware, sensors, computer vision systems, machine learning models and robotics to orchestrate and automate the entirety of its operations.
The company’s proprietary farm design and technology, which have been a key priority since its inception, are at the heart of the Company’s efficient and scalable business model. Adding this technology into the network will increase the productivity and efficiency of farming at Bowery and improve the Modern Farmer experience.
As part of the acquisition, Traptic’s team of experts in robotics, computer vision and engineering will join Bowery to accelerate the use of sophisticated 3D vision and robotics across its network. Lewis Anderson, CEO of Traptic, will lead Bowery’s Robotic Solutions team and report into Justin Frankert, VP of Robotics and Automation.
“I am thrilled to join forces with Bowery, the world-class leader in smart indoor farming, on their mission to democratize access to local, more sustainable, and pesticide-free produce,” said Lewis Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder of Traptic. “The technology we built to operate in harsh outdoor farm environments will work even better indoors, which will translate into even higher quality produce like strawberries, other fruiting and vine crops, and so much more.”
Strawberries are the latest innovation from Bowery, a vertical farming company committed to vibrant flavor and traceability. Bowery’s product line of pesticide-free Protected Produce also features the Farmer’s Selection Next-Generation Greens (including Mustard Frills and Baby Rabe), a new-and-improved version of iceberg lettuce called Crispy Leaf, velvety and peppery Arugula with a punch, smooth yet crisp Baby Butter Lettuce, and more.
Available in more than 800 retailers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, including Whole Foods Market, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, and Walmart, Bowery doubled its revenue in 2021 and closed its Series C equity round. Earlier this year Bowery secured a $150 million credit facility led by KKR, a leading global investment firm. The company also has three new commercial farms under construction in the Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas metropolitan areas, as well as in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Founded in 2015, Bowery Farming is on a mission to democratize access to high-quality, local, safe, and sustainable produce. Bowery builds smart indoor farms near cities, growing fresher, pesticide-free Protected Produce with bold flavor in precisely controlled environments, 365 days a year. At the heart of the farm is the proprietary BoweryOS, which integrates software, hardware, sensors, AI, computer vision systems, machine learning models, and robotics to orchestrate and automate the entirety of its operations. As a result, each farm creates far less waste and uses a fraction of the water and land compared to traditional agriculture.
Based in New York City, Bowery is the largest vertical farming company in the United States, serving major e-commerce platforms and more than 800 grocery stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including Albertsons Companies (Safeway and Acme), Amazon Fresh, Giant Food, Walmart, Wakefern, Weis, Whole Food Markets, and specialty grocers, with produce that’s harvested year-round at peak freshness, delivered within days of harvest.
Bowery has raised more than $497 million in equity funding from leading investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Temasek, GV (formerly Google Ventures), General Catalyst, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, and individuals including Jeff Wilke, as well as some of the foremost thought leaders in food, including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, and David Barber of Blue Hill.