Agtech company SupPlant raises $10 million to boost development of sensor-less irrigation system
The Israeli startup is aiming to have over 2 million smallholder farmers in Africa and India utilizing its new technology in 2022
SupPlant, a developer of leading precision agriculture hardware-software solutions, announced on Sunday that it has raised $10 million to accelerate its sensor-less irrigation API product. The round was co-led by Boresight Capital, Menomadin Foundation, Smart-Agro Fund, and Mivtah Shamir and brings SupPlants’s total funding to date to more than $19 million.
SupPlant’s technology, which until now was a hardware-software solution, experienced growth of 1,200% in 2020, is widely used in Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, and Australia. With the new product developed, SupPlant will be providing as much of the benefits of SupPlant’s autonomous irrigation technology as possible - without requiring the investments in infrastructure required by the full system.
SupPlant's technology is designed for the world’s 450 million small growers, as 76% of farmers grow crops on less than 2 hectares. By September 2021, the sensor-less technology will be implemented by 500,000 farmers in Kenya. In 2022, SupPlant aims that over 2 million smallholders in Africa and India will be utilizing its new technology.
SubPlant CEO Ori Ben Ner. Photo: Naomi Peretz
"The funds raised in this round will allow us to speed up implementation of our new development - a fully sensor-less industry-defining irrigation regime. It is far superior from any common practice available and is built for the vast majority of farmers on earth - smallholders that can’t afford access to hardware intense technology and unique knowledge,” said Ori Ben Ner, CEO of SupPlant. “We already have strategic and disruptive agreements in place with global leaders that will allow us to reach millions of farmers in the upcoming year with this new and exciting technology."
SupPlant uses agronomic algorithms, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based technology to measure the stress of the plant and monitor water content and plant and fruit growth patterns. This data is then combined with real-time and forecasted climatic data and projected plant growth patterns. All this info is uploaded every 10 minutes to an algorithm in the cloud, which provides simple, precise irrigation recommendations to farmers based on the integration of all this data. SupPlant’s database holds the combined expertise of 31 crops across 14 countries, covering growing conditions from dry arid regions of the Middle East to tropical conditions in central America. SupPlant’s vision is that this system will be integrated into every irrigation command given on earth.
“In a world at risk to the destructive impacts of a changing climate, SupPlant’s solution—seek actionable insight farmers can turn into smart irrigation decisions, by ‘talking with’ the plants that produce our foods—is a concrete example of how technology can improve our world,” said Jeffrey Swartz, Partner at Boresight, and the former CEO of Timberland. “Across a variety of critical crops and a wide range of geographies, from small hold farmers to larger-scale food producers—we invest in SupPlant because SupPlant helps farmers produce more, better food, sustainably.”