Israeli precision agriculture platform Taranis has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Viola Ventures, with participation from existing investors Finistere Ventures, Vertex Ventures, OurCrowd, Eyal Gura and Gal Yarden.
The round is also joined by strategic investors Nutrien, Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis and Sumitomo Corporation Europe.
With this new funding, Taranis will continue to enhance its AI-powered solution and high-resolution imagery tools to accelerate its growth in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, the US and expansion into Australia. The company has raised $30 million to date.
With the potential to increase yields by 7.5%, Taranis uses deep-learning technology and agronomic understanding to offer “unprecedented insights” that create a more sustainable farming ecosystem.
These insights are made possible by the firm’s patented aerial imagery technology, that when placed on high-speed UAVs and manned aircraft provide “more than 500x more detail than existing monitoring platforms”.
The company has built a database that implements deep-learning technology to identify crop stresses such as weeds, insects, and diseases on a granular level – providing magnification of up to 0.5mm. Taranis then turns the collected data into actionable insights, helping farmers monitor their acreage effectively by improving crop yields and cutting costs.
Taranis CEO Ofir Schlam said: “We are excited to advance our mission of providing farmers with the technology and know-how to effectively maximise crop yields while maintaining operational efficiency.
“We have already helped thousands of farmers monitor crops for potential hazards. Now we’re looking forward to expanding our footprint around the globe.”
Zvika Orron, partner at Viola Ventures, said: “After analysing the digital farming industry, we proudly chose Taranis to be our first investment in this space. Taranis has all the necessary ingredients to become the leader in farm digitalisation: a comprehensive precision agriculture solution, leading industry partners to scale and penetrate the market and a passionate team making it all happen. Taranis’ solution provides both the diagnosis of the problem as well as the cure.”
Brent Smith, vice president of proprietary technology and innovation at Nutrien, said: “We’re delighted to collaborate with Taranis and combine their detection expertise with our integrated digital platform and portfolio of products and services.
“Taranis’ technology will be integrated into our broader solution providing substantial value, efficiency, and profitability for our grower customers around the world.”
Cavallo Ventures president Mike Wilbur added: “Taranis’ technology is bridging the gap between the growing demand for food and the lack of supply of labour and resources required for intensive farming. The combination of their highly accurate imagery tools and unique database of innumerable plant, disease, and insect types will empower farmers to grow their crops better and smarter.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018