May. 5, 2017
Israeli digital agriculture company Taranis announced yesterday it has closed a $7.5 million Series A round of financing led by Finistere Ventures, and Vertex Ventures. Existing investors, Eshbol Investments, Mindset Ventures, OurCrowd, and angel investor Eyal Gura, also joined the round. Taranis has developed a precision agriculture intelligence platform and aims to lead the digital farming revolution by giving farmers around the globe the ability to predict and prevent detrimental threats to their crops. The company has $9.5 million to date including the latest financing round.
To support its rapid growth plans, Arama Kukutai Finistere Ventures and Yanai Oron, Vertex Ventures will join the Taranis Board.
Growing its acreage by 2,000% in one year and now managing millions of acres of farmland in the Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Russia and the United States, Taranis offers the first scalable, predictive analytics solution to predict crop threats and prevent them in any climate zone. Presenting precise information about fields, daily tasks, crop disease/pest and weather alerts based on its advanced forecasting and now-casting technologies, the proprietary Taranis deep learning platform helps large commercial farmers around the globe reduce costs, increase yield and speed farming decisions. With Taranis, farmers can minimize chemical and pesticide usage by pinpointing where and when they are needed – saving farmers money, while creating a more sustainable farming ecosystem. The Taranis platform currently monitors fields for critical crops such as soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, sugar cane and potatoes.
“Our predictive analytics platform monitors all aspects of field conditions in real time and sends early warnings to farmers to help them protect their crops,” said Taranis CEO Ofir Schlam. “We want to make it easier for farmers anywhere, in any climate, to predict and overcome potential crop threats. This investment will help us build the right distribution channels and find the best talent to ensure we fulfill our precision Ag vision.”
"Farmers are currently faced with poor commodity prices and want to manage their costs – from crop protection to fertilizer – more effectively. We believe higher resolution, real-time data is requirement for the digital farming revolution, but new solutions have to pay for themselves rapidly,” said Arama Kukutai, co-founder and partner, Finistere Ventures. “Taranis is taking the next generation of technology for farmers well beyond simply being able to look at a field. Taranis can capture imagery of a specific mite on a leaf going 70 mph from 200 feet above ground.”
Taranis will use the latest investment to further mature its scalable pest and disease prediction platform and substantially grow its global reach, with a focus on building US momentum.
“We invest in innovators with the ability to transform an industry and were drawn to Taranis’ exceptional leadership team, machine learning expertise, proven analytics platform and early on-farm successes,” noted Yanai Oron, general partner, Vertex. “Taranis offers a comprehensive and affordable crop management solution, and the pest and disease prediction algorithms it developed set the company apart from its competitors.”
Using deep learning to continually improve accuracy, the Taranis platform integrates with a variety of sensors for additional data and takes scouting and task management into account. Its patented aerial imagery technology can cover expansive areas from high-speed UAVs and crop dusters at an unprecedented resolution, 0.5mm per pixel, which is more than 500x more detailed than existing monitoring platforms. Taranis also runs its own weather prediction model that can accurately forecast field-level weather patterns at 4km per pixel, an enormous improvement over current global models delivering forecasts at 26km per pixel.
Led by an expert team with decades of experience in farming, technology innovation, machine learning, advanced anomaly detection and meteorological systems, Taranis will also use the funding to expand its plant pathology, data science and software engineering teams. Headquartered in Israel with subsidiaries in Argentina and Brazil, Taranis is currently establishing a US office and expanding into India and Russia.