Israeli start-up Greeneye Technology has announced the completion of a $7 million seed funding round led by JVP. Greeneye’s mission is to dramatically reduce chemical usage in arable farming whilst increasing productivity and profitability for farmers. The company is developing the next generation AI platform to detect, identify and spray weeds with herbicides or pesticides in real-time. The system uses cameras and AI to precisely spray only the weeds as opposed to the current broadcast spraying approach which sees bare soil sprayed, money wasted and the environment unnecessarily affected. So far trials have indicated that Greeneye’s technology reduces herbicide usage by a whopping 90%.
Participation in the funding round included 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.
Greeneye stated that they will use the $7 million in funding to advance product R&D while expanding strategic partnerships with sprayer manufacturers and other stakeholders. The company aims 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 to 92%, which supports our mission to address these global agricultural challenges.”
A selective spraying (SSP) system
Greeneye’s selective spraying (SSP) system can easily integrate into any agricultural sprayer, by retrofitting existing sprayers or through working in collaboration with sprayer manufacturers to deliver plant-level variable-rate spraying. In addition to the significant savings that Greeneye’s precision spraying technology offer to farmers, it also maps the entire field with cameras at a plant level resolution, offering a robust, and affordable scouting solution.
It is hoped that in addition to the obvious cost saving to farmers of precision herbicide application the reduction in broad application will also reduce the development of herbicide-resistant weeds.
“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.”
Erel Margalit, JVP Founder & Chairman of JVP said “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“.
“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“.