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TerraClear, a startup based in Issaquah, Washington, and Grangeville, Idaho, recently secured $15 million in funding to support its rock-mapping and picking technology solutions for farmers. The company, founded in 2017 by Brent Frei, aims to simplify the labor-intensive task of removing large rocks from farmers’ fields. The latest funding round, which included contributions from Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, Frei, and angel investors, builds on a previous $25 million Series A round from May 2021. Frei, a former CEO and co-founder, is pleased with the design of the Rock Picker hardware, which can mount on various machines and pick hundreds of rocks per hour. Additionally, TerraClear’s software and AI technology continue to advance, enhancing efficiency in rock mapping and route planning.

TerraClear’s goal is not only to sell Rock Pickers to farmers but to offer a comprehensive suite of services to address the rock problem. The startup provides a field-mapping service using drones and creates a Rock Map for $4 per acre. They then collaborate with service providers to pick rocks from the field for a fee ranging from $2 to $9 per acre. This approach allows TerraClear to generate revenue from both the mapping service and the rock-picking service, while providing opportunities for local service providers to enhance their businesses. Frei envisions the potential for TerraClear’s platform to transform the agriculture industry similar to how Amazon revolutionized e-commerce by creating efficiencies in markets like books.

TerraClear is currently working with around 100 farming customers in Minnesota and Iowa, leveraging modern marketing strategies to expand its reach. The company has received positive feedback from influential figures in the agriculture industry, such as Millennial Farmer, whose endorsement has attracted interest from other farmers. TerraClear is also making progress towards developing an autonomous machine capable of rock picking. They have successfully integrated a Rock Picker onto a Bobcat equipped with control software designed by TerraClear, with plans to deploy the autonomous machine in production this summer. To date, TerraClear has raised a total of $57 million and employs approximately 40 staff members.

Frei views TerraClear’s work as an exciting opportunity for growth, comparing the significance of solving the rock problem in farming to how Amazon tackled the book market. By implementing AI, automation, and robotic systems, TerraClear aims to streamline various aspects of agricultural operations, laying the foundation for further innovation. The startup’s innovative approach to addressing farmers’ needs with cutting-edge technology and services has garnered interest and support from investors and customers alike. Frei describes leading TerraClear as the most fulfilling and enjoyable experience of his career, praising the team’s expertise and dedication.

TerraClear’s vision extends beyond rock-picking solutions to encompass a broader ecosystem of services that leverage advanced technology to transform agriculture. The company’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation in rock mapping and picking demonstrates its dedication to supporting farmers and addressing industry challenges. As TerraClear continues to expand its offerings and partnerships, it aims to revolutionize how farmers approach field maintenance and enhance operational efficiency. With ongoing advancements in AI, automation, and robotics, TerraClear is well-positioned to drive meaningful change in the agriculture sector and create lasting value for its customers and partners.

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