Israeli agritech startup Greeneye Technology raises $7M seed funding for its next generation AI platform that detects and sprays weeds in real time
It’s year 2020 and farmers worldwide still spray their fields uniformly using a chemical-intensive treatment, without distinguishing between the crop, the bare soil, and the weeds. This market failure results not only in a significant economic loss to the farmers, but also causes material environmental damage and accelerates the development of herbicide-resistant weeds.
Enter Greeneye Technology, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based agritech startup on a mission to dramatically reduce chemical usage while increasing productivity and profitability for farmers. Greeneye is developing the next generation artificial intelligence platform to detect and spray weeds in real-time. The company uses cameras and AI to precisely spray only the weeds as opposed to the current broadcast spraying approach. Initial trials indicate this technology reduces herbicide usage by up to 90%.
Today, Greeneye announced it has closed a seed funding round of $7 million to advance product research and development while expanding its strategic partnerships with sprayer manufacturers and other stakeholders. The round was led by JVP, with participation from Syngenta Ventures, the largest crop chemical producer in the world. Other major investors include 2B Angels, One Way venture, Panache Ventures Techstars, and Hyperplane Venture Capital. In conjunction with the funding, Greeneye also announced two new board members, JVP Partner Michal Drayman, and Managing Director of Syngenta Ventures, Shubhang Shankar.
Founded in 2017, Greeneye is developing a platform using artificial intelligence to accurately detect and spray weeds in real-time. Greeneye has a multidisciplinary team with expertise in computer vision, artificial intelligence, agronomy, mechanical engineering, spraying applications, etc. who is committed to providing sustainable solutions for farmers around the world.
Greeneye will also use the new capital infusion to commercialize its technology after a series of field trials with farmers and multinational cooperation contracted in 2020. The funds will also help to deepen the technology’s analytics capabilities and expand to additional spraying applications.
“We are thrilled to have JVP an international leading VC fund and Syngenta as a strategic and industry expert investors to help fuel Greeneye’s growth,” said Nadav Bocher, Co-Founder and CEO, Greeneye Technology. “Both our investors share with us the understanding that the way farmers spray chemicals in agriculture is about to be massively disrupted to a more efficient and sustainable manner. Our mission is to reduce the usage of chemicals that are being sprayed in agriculture, utilizing artificial intelligence to provide precise and targeted spraying in real-time, save money for farmers while increasing their productivity and profitability. Our trials indicate that our technology reduces herbicide usage by 65‒92%, which supports our mission to address these global agricultural challenges.”
Erel Margalit, JVP Founder & Chairman of JVPת “Greeneye’s technology is revolutionizing the agricultural industry by reducing 90% of pollutants and hazardous use of pesticides, impacting our soil, water, air, and the very crops we eat. Governments, farmers and the general public are striving for a reality in which agriculture protects the environment. The strategic partnership forged with Syngenta is a clear show of confidence in Greeneye’s technology, signaling that the future is already here. CEO Nadav Bucher and the wonderful team he has put together are doing excellent work developing international strategic connections, building the company. In just a few short years, farmers worldwide will be implementing Greeneye’s revolutionary technology in everyday use”.
“The future of weed control will enable growers to spray more efficiently and more sustainably, addressing challenges such as herbicide resistance and overuse of inputs,” said Shubhang Shankar, Managing Director of Syngenta Ventures. “To achieve this requires a cost-effective solution that addresses real-world conditions. The Greeneye team has developed a platform that has the potential to solve many of the technical challenges facing row-crop growers, while applying industry-leading technologies that are scalable to commercial agriculture.”
“Greeneye is an example of digital agriculture at its best”, says Michal Drayman, partner at JVP and Board member at Greeneye.
“The unique technology developed by the company increases the yield for agricultural crops, saves money, reduces pollution levels; a groundbreaking breakthrough in sustainability. This is the future agricultural model, in line with the dynamic and demanding global regulatory requirements. Recently the EU has announced a new target to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2030. We believe that the growing demand for environmental protection, along with regulatory requirements, are generating a significant market for Greeneye, including from the global players who lead the agriculture industry”.