Precision farming startup Semios raises $75M in funding to expand the largest IoT network in agriculture
Semios, a Vancouver, Canada-based precision farming startup, has raised $75 million in private equity funding to advance the development of its data-driven crop management solution. The round, which was led by Morningside Group, a Boston-based private equity and venture capital firm, brings the company’s total funding raise to date to $115 million in external capital.
Founded in 2010, Semios offers a precision farming platform that provides real-time crop data and pest management tools for growers of tree fruit, nut and vine crops. Leveraging a proprietary, in-orchard IoT wireless network, machine learning, and big data analytics, Semios helps farmers manage insect pests, disease, frost and irrigation.
The Semios analytics engine draws on diverse sources of data and information including a robust, wireless network of in-canopy IoT sensors on each customer farm measuring climate, soil moisture, insect and disease activity. Since 2018, Semios has been named to the Global Cleantech 100, an annual list of the 100 most innovative cleantech companies globally, and the Thrive Top 50, list of the 50 leading global AgTech companies. The startup has also seen revenues double year-over-year, on average, since 2015. The company’s rapid growth is the result of its relentless focus on providing precision farming solutions that address production challenges such as insect damage encountered by growers of crops including almonds, apples, pistachios and grapes.
“The Semios IoT network, the largest in agriculture, provides critical insights into the relationships between organisms and their environments, leveraging big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Semios CEO & founder, Dr. Michael Gilbert. “We amplify the experience and confidence of farmers by providing a clear picture of how environmental and agronomic factors influence the yield and grade of their crops. This investment will help us continue to deliver innovative solutions to the most pressing problems growers have told us they face.”
Semios collects sensory data on every acre in near real-time, helping farmers manage the complex biosystems in orchards to optimize the sustainability and profitability of their crops. Its cloud-based analytics platform ingests highly granular data from over one million IoT sensors in the field, measuring in-canopy microclimate, soil and plant conditions every 10 minutes. The 350 million data points collected daily feed established and proprietary models that provide guidance to improve agricultural practices addressing weather, insects, disease and water management challenges.
The funds raised enable Semios to accelerate research, development, partnerships or acquisitions to use in-field data to help growers around the world reduce chemical inputs, improve water management and increase crop outcomes.
“Capitalizing companies that are solving important and complex problems with data is an area of focus of our investment team,” said Mick Sawka, Investment Manager at Morningside Group. “Semios’ proven track record growing revenues through innovation is exemplary. Their work has made farming more environmentally sustainable, more productive and therefore enhanced the security of our food chain.”
Semios helps manage more than 150,000 acres of permanent crops, including over 500 farms in the United States. Its in-field data and control systems make it simpler and more efficient for growers to adopt technology to address their most pressing problems in crop production.