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BayWa Venture GmbH acquires an interest in the Italian AgriTech start-up Evjaqrcode

Jan. 30, 2018

Forward Favorites Print Jan. 30, 2018
BayWa Venture GmbH, a subsidiary company of BayWa AG, and the Austrian RWA Invest GmbH have acquired an interest of 2.5% each in the Italian start-up Evja. The young entrepreneurs have developed a computerised information system for use in the field, greenhouses and vineyards to optimise the use of resources and pesticides in agriculture. As one of four start-ups, Evja won the Acceleration Programme in 2016 - a global competition run by Agro Innovation Lab (AIL). AIL is the joint innovation platform of BayWa AG and RWA Raiffeisen Ware Austria AG. The task of AIL is to support young companies in the further development of their products and their establishment in the market, thus making agricultural innovations usable for agricultural practices. After taking a holding in Evologic Technologies - also a winning start-up from 2016 - Evja is the second investment for BayWa Venture GmbH and RWA Invest GmbH which has emerged from the AIL Acceleration Programme.

Agriculture is undergoing major changes and must face challenges such as increasing digitalisation, a growing world population and climate change, says Klaus Josef Lutz, Chairman of the Board at BayWa AG. “Therefore, as a company, we want to develop innovative ideas for the benefit of our customers and profit from them.”

“We are pleased that with Evja we have taken a holding in a company that is considered to be one of the innovative players in the Internet of Things, with a successful development in Italy, and that is very interesting for customers, especially in the greenhouse sector," says Reinhard Bauer, Managing Director of Agro Innovation Lab.

Evja developed the computerised information system OPI. Here, sensors in the field measure all relevant data related to irrigation, nutrient supply and plant health and send it to an internet-enabled terminal, such as a PC or smartphone, where the sensor data is evaluated together with weather data. As a result, OPI provides the farmer with a decision-making basis for the necessary irrigation or the amount of fertiliser and pesticide. OPI can also predict plant diseases, and when necessary, the farmer can take swift and targeted action.

Acceleration Programme 2017 ends with Demo Day

Since 2016, Agro Innovation Lab has been calling on start-ups worldwide in the agricultural sector to apply for a place in the Acceleration Programme with their business idea. After a big international success in the first year, the current application round with 265 start-ups from 61 countries was also a great success. The highlight of the Acceleration Programme 2017 will be the Demo Day in Vienna on Thursday, 1st February 2018, when the six winning start-ups of the current round will present the further development of their products to an audience.

The next step will be discussions regarding possible cooperation partnerships and financing options in order to remain connected with the start-ups in the future. The application round for the AIL Acceleration Programme 2018 will start in March.

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