Israeli ag-tech company Phytech Ltd and private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) have announced the closing of a new round of growth investment. Under the terms of the agreement, THL will invest US$23.5 million, while Josh Bresler, its managing director, has also joined the Phytech board as part of the transaction.
Phytech’s proprietary technology connects farmers directly to their plants via the use of vertically integrated IoT devices, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms. Constantly sensing, communicating, and analysing plant demands, Phytech says its solutions provide farmers with real-time actionable recommendations, helping to optimise production and transform operations.
Phytech’s ‘PlantBeat’ irrigation management platform is used by 600 top-tier growers on approximately 15,000 farms across the US, Australia, and Israel, which are collectively accountable for 30% of global almond production, 35% of US apple production and 28% of US citrus production.
PlantBeat assists farmers with daily operational in-field amount and pressure control, as well as in meeting regulatory water conservation demands. The company says its value proposition to farmers is built on improving plant health and longevity, increasing yield quality, avoiding yield loss due to reduction of bi-annual bearing, water savings, labour cost reduction, and reducing emissions pollution.
Additionally, Phytech’s breakthrough natural plant-based BRIX (high sugars) optimization application assists fruit growers to achieve higher sugar content without chemical or over stressing practices.
“We are grateful for the trust and support of THL and our existing investors as well as the vote of confidence from the growing community of global leading growers that are transforming their daily farming practices with our Plant-Demand production applications, resulting in healthier crops, improved yields, and reduced use of resources. Global agriculture is facing pressure from all directions,” said Sarig Duek, Phytech’s CEO.
“Farmers are seeing tightening margins, increasing water conservation demands, rising labor costs, and more,” he continued. “Planetary food producing capacity is challenged by climate change, topsoil erosion, water stress, and urbanization. The necessity for farmers to optimize production in meeting global food security needs and demands is clear.”
“Listening closely to our customers, this funding will serve primarily to add needed automation capabilities and support our global market expansion. Now, more than ever, we believe that all farmers around the globe should be provided with the opportunity to transform to Plant-Demand production practices, and plan to achieve this goal with the support of our world leading partners.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Phytech as it enters its next stage of growth,” added Josh Bresler of THL. “The Phytech team have built a technology platform with an undeniable customer value proposition featuring powerful positive outcomes for both farmers and the planet. We look forward to supporting the Company’s continued market expansion and investment in irrigation automation capabilities to support its customers with world class service and outcomes.”