(RTTNews) - Applied technology company AppHarvest, Inc. (APPH, APPHW) has acquired Root AI, an artificial intelligence farming startup that creates intelligent robots to help manage high-tech indoor farms. Based in Somerville, Mass., Root AI has 19 full-time employees, all of whom are expected to join AppHarvest's technology group. Root AI CEO Josh Lessing will take on the role of Chief Technology Officer for AppHarvest.
AppHarvest expects acquisition of Root AI and its robotic universal harvester, Virgo, to provide the company with a baseline of harvesting support working alongside crop care specialists focused on more complex tasks. Virgo is the world's first universal harvester, which can be configured to identify and harvest multiple crops of varying sizes.
The company is investing approximately $60 million, consisting of approximately $10 million in cash and the balance in AppHarvest common shares, to acquire Root AI. The company will issue approximately 2,328,000 shares for the acquisition.