DroneSeed deploys drone swarms to aerially plant trees and other plants as well as cultivate and monitor them. They’ve initially launched the service to help reforest areas devastated by wildfires quickly recover. The team has received FAA clearance to fly lower than normal and carry heavier loads than the current 55 lb weight limit. Services include micro-precision planting of seeds, fertilizer and herbicide spraying as well as progress monitoring.

Current clients include timber companies and national forestry services. They are expanding their services to include commercial growers including vineyards, fruit and nut orchards. DroneSeed heavily modifies and retrofits industrial drone hardware

The team is based in Seattle, Washington.

Why I like Them

I like them because this is a very cool application of technology to helping solve the planet’s environmental issues. They make maintaining and expanding vast areas of fields and forests much more scalable and efficient than the current method of manually planting by hand to cover thousands of acres. The double bottom line here of cost savings for organizations as well as helping the environment in a more scalable manner is great. From a business perspective they have little competition and have already locked up long term government contracts.

The other part of this business I like is its much more defensible than it appears on first pass. Equipment and software needed for this are not off the shelf but are custom built by DroneSeed. The AI algorithms needed for mapping a landscape precisely, determining the best locations for seeds to be dropped, the seed packet mixture deployed, and then having the drones be able to spray the correct amount and type of herbicide for that area is not a trivial task.