Aker Technologies, a Chicago-based agriculture technology firm, is moving to the St. Louis area after landing $2.6 million in financing led by Lewis & Clark Ventures.
Aker provides automated "crop scouting" technology that helps farmers detect pests and monitor crop conditions. It was founded in 2016 by technology entrepreneur Orlando Saez and Minnesota farmer Todd Golly.
Clayton-based Lewis & Clark Ventures said Aker's five full-time employees will move to an office near the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur. The company also plans to hire six new employees.
Flyover Capital of Overland Park, Kansas, and Central Illinois Angels of Peoria, Illinois, invested in Aker along with Lewis & Clark.
Aker got its introduction to the St. Louis ag-tech scene through the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, a program that pairs agriculture startups with Danforth Center scientists. The program included a $250,000 grant to help Aker develop its technology.
Saez said in a statement that his team was "excited to have a close relationship" with the Danforth Center.