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Company says latest round will help farmers predict and prevent threats to over 20 million crop acres worldwide.
November 6, 2018
Taranis, a precision agriculture intelligence platform, has announced the closing of a $20 million Series B round of financing 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, including: Nutrien, Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis and Sumitomo Corp. Europe. 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, the announcement noted. These insights are made possible by the power of Taranis’ patented aerial imagery technology, which, when placed on high-speed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and manned aircraft, provide more than 500x more detail than existing monitoring platforms.
Taranis has also built an extensive 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 0.5 mm. Taranis then turns the collected data into actionable insights, helping farmers monitor their acreage effectively by improving crop yields and cutting costs.
“We are excited to advance our mission of providing farmers with the technology and know-how to effectively maximize crop yields while maintaining operational efficiency,” said Ofir Schlam, chief executive officer and co-founder of Taranis. “We have already helped thousands of farmers monitor crops for potential hazards. Now, we’re looking forward to expanding our footprint around the globe.”
“After analyzing the digital farming industry, we proudly chose Taranis to be our first investment in this space,” Zvika Orron, partner at Viola Ventures, said. “Taranis has all the necessary ingredients to become the leader in farm digitalization: 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.”
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Taranis and combine their detection expertise with our integrated digital platform and portfolio of products and services,” Nutrien vice president of proprietary technology and innovation Brent Smith said. “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 labor 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.”
Earlier this year, Taranis completed its second acquisition -- procuring Mavrx -- to create an unprecedented aerial imagery platform. With this new round of funding, Taranis will continue to enhance its artificial intelligence-powered solution and high-resolution imagery tools to accelerate its growth in Argentina, Brazil, Russia and the U.S. and expand into Australia.
Taranis uses sophisticated computer vision, data science and deep-learning algorithms to effectively monitor fields. The system enables farmers to make informed decisions by detecting early symptoms of weeds, uneven emergence, nutrient deficiencies, disease or insect infestations, water damage and equipment problems. Overseeing millions of acres of farmland in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S., Taranis gives farmers the tools to address issues in real time, thus increasing yields and cutting costs. Taranis employs more than 50 people worldwide and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, with subsidiaries in Argentina, Brazil and the U.S.
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