Agritech startup iUNU raises $7M in Series A funding to transform the way indoor growers do business
Greenhouse production is experiencing significant growth. In North America, the greenhouse fruit and vegetable market is growing more than 20 percent annually. As greenhouses expand their square footage to meet demand, however, labor shortages and rising labor costs pose challenges for growers. Technologies to facilitate grower productivity have become essential.
Enter iUNU (pronounced “you knew”), a Seattle, Washington-based industrial computer vision startup that provides precision agriculture solutions to indoor growers. iUNU’s LUNA, a robotic, vision-based, greenhouse management system provides the insights to solve these problems. Luna turns commercial greenhouses into precise, predictable, demand-based manufacturers. Luna is an AI born in the heart of Seattle; trained in Silicon Valley and the greenhouses of Skagit Valley; accessible from everywhere.
Today, iUNU announced it has raised $7 million in Series A funding to accelerate global adoption of its LUNA platform by commercial greenhouses. The oversubscribed round was led by S2G Ventures and Ceres Partners, with participation from Serra Ventures.
Founded in 2013 by Adam Greenberg, iUNU connects plants, facilities, and people through a single interface. iUNU will use the new capital infusion to scale the company’s LUNA platform to meet the growing demand for greenhouse agritech solutions while investing in industry partnerships.
iUNU is transforming the way indoor growers do business by harnessing the power of computer vision through its product offering, LUNA. The LUNA platform delivers a system of mobile and fixed cameras with high definition imaging and environmental sensors that measure and record everything down to the real-time growth rate of each plant. The software combines computer vision and machine learning technologies to continuously build detailed models of individual plants, unique among millions, throughout the day. LUNA detects even the most minute changes in health of individual plants, giving growers the precise knowledge they need for proactive management. LUNA uses this insight to drive margin for growers through crop monitoring/forecasting, space utilization, and labor planning – while giving increased pricing leverage to the sales team.
In an email to Tech Startups, Adam said: “The greenhouse industry is poised to double in size over the next five years. Since COVID-19, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in demand for greenhouse produce. At the same time, the industry has seen labor shortages as well as increased costs due to more stringent food safety measures.”
“The LUNA system continues to attract greenhouse growers as a leading comprehensive greenhouse management platform”, said Cristina Rohr, Principal at S2G Ventures. “We are delighted to partner with iUNU to support the company’s continued growth and long-term plans to make indoor growing operations more profitable and efficient.”
“The iUNU team has translated their long experience in greenhouses into an exciting computer vision platform powered by machine learning which empowers growers with new tools and capabilities to see, predict and take action”, said Walter Robb, Executive-in-Resident at S2G Ventures, “Both the magic and the mystery of plants growing comes alive in and through LUNA. It’s advanced technology supports the optimization of yield, labor and product quality, ultimately providing the end customer both superior processes and product while improving the profitability for growers.”