Press release

HarvestX, a startup developing an automated strawberry cultivation solution, raises 410 million yen in funding


HarvestX Inc., a Tokyo-based start-up developing automated indoor farming solutions, has secured 410 million yen in a pre-series A funding round. In addition to existing shareholders ANRI No.4 Investment Limited Partnership, DEEPCORE TOKYO No.2 Investment Limited Partnership and Open Innovation Promotion No. 1 Investment Limited Partnership, follow-on investors include Dawn Capital No.1 Investment Limited Partnership, SMBC Venture Capital Industry-Academia Collaboration No.3 Investment Limited Partnership, Shinsei Venture Partners II Investment Limited Partnership, the Future of Food 1st Investment Limited Partnership, Shinkin-Yaramaika Investment Limited Partnership and HULIC Startup No.1 Investment Limited Partnership. In addition, grants※1 have been received. This round of financing brings HarvestX’s total funds to date to 610 million yen.

※1:Hamamatsu City Fund Support Program. A grant for businesses that receive investment from Hamamatsu City-approved venture capital and other investment institutions (Hamamatsu City-approved venture capital).

“Logos of investors”

Background and Purpose of Fundraising

In many fruit and vegetable indoor farms, bees are bred in the factory to pollinate flowers, just as in general farms. However, in a closed space like an indoor farm, bees are stressed and unable to fly well or live short lives, making stable production difficult, which is a major problem. To solve such problems, HarvestX has focused on strawberries, developing an automated strawberry cultivation robot that employs advanced technology to perform pollination, growth data collection, and harvesting in an integrated manner. Among fruit and vegetable crops, strawberries are particularly susceptible to the accuracy of pollination, which affects the production of fruit with a consistent shape. This is the world’s first technology in strawberry pollination (Japanese Patent No. 7090953). After conducting experiments at the in-house strawberry cultivation laboratory and at strawberry indoor farming operators, HarvestX is now able to offer the “HarvestX” strawberry automatic cultivation solution, which is centered on the “XV3” automatic pollination robot. 

HarvestX will use the newly raised fund to promote research and development of technology to further add value to the “HarvestX” strawberry automatic cultivation solution. It will also build a demonstration facility (pilot plant) equipped with “HarvestX” to appeal to indoor farming operators who are facing problems in strawberry production and to companies that are considering operating new strawberry indoor farms. (The first phase is scheduled for completion in May 2024.) HarvestX will use the opening of this facility as a foothold for further business expansion.
※The start of operation and details of the demonstration facility will be announced at the time of its opening.

“HarvestX”, an automated strawberry cultivation solution

“HarvestX” is a solution that automates cultivation management and pollination in the strawberry production process at indoor farms to achieve stable production, with plans to add harvesting functions in 2025. The combination of robots, cultivation racks, and cultivation recipes optimized by developing originally, as well as pollination and monitoring automation by AI, will realize stable production and reduce production costs, aiming for global deployment as a sustainable production system.

Automated strawberry cultivation solution “HarvestX” overview

“Automated strawberry cultivation solution “HarvestX” overview”

XV3, strawberry pollinating robot

XV3 is the core robot of HarvestX, an automated strawberry cultivation solution. The robot’s highly accurate pollination and environmental control through sensing technology enable strawberry production in any region or environment.
The XV3 consists of two parts: the XV3 Cart, which automatically drives around the indoor farm, and the XV3 Unit, equipped with sensors for data collection and robotic arms. It is designed to allow easy expansion and modification of functions to meet the needs of indoor farming operators. It also supports future updates of functions, allowing robots in indoor farms to evolve and become more automated without major hardware changes.

Video of XV3, strawberry pollinating and harvesting robot

About HarvestX

HarvestX Inc. founded in 2020, is a Tokyo-based startup that aims to fully automate the cultivation of fruits and vegetables that require pollination, such as strawberries, in indoor farms. Started at the University of Tokyo in 2018 by members specializing in robotics and AI, HarvestX focused its research on the issue of the difficulty of producing fruits that require pollination in indoor farms, and succeeded in the world’s first robotic pollination of strawberries.

HarvestX, whose mission is to “Prosperous Diet to the Next Generation” will develop and provide solutions for sustainable agriculture by utilizing robotics and AI technologies.