By Monika Ghosh and Sharon Lewis This article is the last of a four-part Tech’s Year in Review series reviewing developments across industries in 2020. It discusses the world of healthtech and biotech, foodtech and agritech, and sustainability. This article is the last of a four-part [...]
Agricultural intelligence company, Taranis announced today it has closed a $30 million global Round C funding led by Vertex Growth and Kuok Group’s Orion Fund (managed by K3 Ventures). New investors in this round include strategic investor Hitachi Ventures as well as Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Micron Ventures, UMC Capital, La Maison, Mindset Ventures, iAngels and Gal Yarden. Existing investors Vertex Ventures Israel, Viola Ventures, Finistere and OurCrowd also continue their support.
Taranis helps growers and crop consultants make informed decisions throughout the season using a unique combination of advanced aerial imagery and proprietary AI technology. With $60 million raised to date, Taranis plans a broadscale rollout of the company’s agronomic intelligence service. Powered by their proprietary AI2 SmartScout™ technology, this unique platform sets the foundation for the first of its kind outcome-based, broad-acre scouting tool of the future that will ensure growers are meeting their benchmarks with minimal risk.
“Until recently, growers have had to wait on time-consuming manual scouting to assess threats, formulate an action plan, and react. Our ag intelligence service takes out the guesswork and brings hyperlocal, real-time insights from the fields to your fingertips,” said Ofir Schlam, CEO and co-founder of Taranis. “And we’re not stopping there. We have exciting programs in our pipeline which will completely change the reactive risk mitigation model of today, to an outcome-based approach informed by predictive threat thresholds and yield expectations.”
Taranis’ proprietary AI2 SmartScout™ Solutions bring a new level of efficiency to the industry, capturing images of fields at an unparalleled resolution of 0.3mm/pixel from planes and drones, at a speed of 100 acres in six minutes. With this technology, Taranis offers precise, leaf-level diagnosis 20 times faster than the manual alternative, and with 20 times more data points scouted.
Beyond capturing crop needs with unmatched speed, AI2 SmartScout™ Solutions leverages a database of more than one million threat species to create accurate prescription plans to customize treatments and application rates.
“The combination of high-definition imagery and intelligence has the potential to change the game for global agriculture,” said MX Kuok, managing director of K3 Ventures. “Our Indonesian colleagues and sugar plantation supervisors were impressed by the outcomes achieved during a week-long pilot – the first entry into Asia for Taranis. Taranis demonstrated best-in-class capabilities in identifying specific pests and diseases, which can drive early intervention and reduce the amount of crop protection products that ultimately enter into our food chain. Both the farmers and their customers stand to benefit from this promising technology.”
“The agtech market will soon see consolidation around imagery and vision AI with just a few strong players remaining. We firmly believe that Taranis’ unique technology will lead the pack,” said Hock Chuan Tam, managing director of Vertex Growth. “The adoption of Taranis’ solutions will help growers and crop consultants to detect, analyze and treat crop issues at their earliest signs, taking preventive measures with unprecedented precision. This will allow them to gain a higher degree of control over their crop yield than ever before, particularly relevant in Asia where the agriculture sector has a relatively lower yield per hectare compared to global benchmarks.”
To date, Taranis has partnerships with the leading retail, ag equipment and crop protection companies, including John Deere, Syngenta, Nutrien, Climate Corp and BASF. Taranis technology has scouted more than two million acres of commodity crops across the world, creating the industry’s most comprehensive knowledge base of crop threats.
“This latest round of funding solidifies Taranis as the agricultural intelligence leader and positions us well for breakout growth.” said Mike DiPaola, general manager of North America and vice president of global sales at Taranis. “We provide the best technology in the industry and it defies traditional categorization. Growers deserve and will expect a greater level of quicker and more reliable crop services. Our portfolio of technologies will create more predictability and reliability for growers and providers, worldwide.”
Taranis is a leading agriculture intelligence platform that combines high-resolution aerial imagery with AI to identify and analyze crop threats such as insect infestation, disease, weeds, and nutrient deficiencies, and inform the best treatment with its prescription engine to help farmers prevent crop yield loss. Taranis’s end-to-end platform helps growers, crop consultants, and producers monitor fields in real time, make educated, data-based decisions and act on them. The company works with 16 of the world’s top 20 agricultural retailers and crop protection companies and monitors more than 20 million acres of land globally for over 19,000 customers in the United States, Canada, the greater Latin American region, Russia, Ukraine and Australia. Taranis employs over 80 people worldwide and is headquartered in Sunnyvale.
About Vertex Growth
Vertex Growth is dedicated to partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs and promising companies on the cusp of growth. The firm provides expansion capital to realize the companies’ vision of creating a category champion that is enduring and transformational. Part of the Vertex global network of venture capital funds, Vertex Growth can leverage on a broad view of innovation across the world and capture significant value arising from the Vertex eco-system of portfolio companies, partners and investors. For more information about Vertex Growth, please visit https://www.vertexgrowth.com/.
About Orion Fund
Orion Fund, managed by K3 Ventures, is a venture capital arm of the Kuok Group. Building upon the collective experience and synergies of the Group, Orion Fund seeks to realize the potential of best-in-class technologies and innovative solutions, as a partner in championing growth through mutual collaboration. For more information about Orion Fund and K3 Ventures, please visit https://www.k3ventures.com/.