Israel was able to turn a once sand-filled country into an agricultural powerhouse. The country now grows peppers, avocados, mangoes, and many other crops that don’t even make sense in desert climate. And now that the crop infrastructure has been established, it is time for technological advancements to help progress this country further into agricultural success. Of course, in the Startup Nation, there is no shortage of companies fusing technology with agriculture. This was highlighted recently by the acquisition of Israeli firm Prospera – which combines sensors and machine learning algorithms to provide farmers with a smart crop management solution – for $300 million by American farming infrastructure manufacturer Valmont.
We know that the AgTech sector includes a multitude of technological solutions, and here, we've chosen to focus and highlight Israeli companies innovating crop management and care. These are some unbeleafable startups tackling crop innovation at the root:
In your wildest dreams, could you have imagined that it would be possible to plant sensors into crop DNA? With the unpredictable changes in our climate, it is hard to stick to just one protocol to support every crop’s health. That’s where InnerPlant, an Israeli-American startup, comes in. They have coded signaling capabilities into the DNA of crops to detect everything from water and nutrient levels to insects and fungi growth. After 24 hours, InnerPlant can monitor and catch these defects, providing farmers with preemptive, actionable advice.
Trees give us life; from oxygen to food, human existence relies on the health of the trees around us. However, with growing agricultural fields and increasing demand, it is challenging to monitor every tree and ensure they are producing at maximum capacity. SeeTree, an Israeli startup, is working to help farmers understand the state of each one of their trees and get prescriptive analytics. Using military-grade drones, AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze images, manned and unmanned vehicles, IoT sensors, and agronomist teams, SeeTree provides a 360-degree view of the fields.
This startup was founded in 2017 in Tel Aviv and is led by CEO and Co-Founder: Israel Talpaz and CTO and Co-Founder: Guy Morgenstern. The company has raised $45 million in total and monitor 50 million trees across Brazil, the United States, Chile, and South Africa.
GreenEye Technology, a Tel Aviv-based startup, is trying to reduce the number of chemicals farmers use while maintaining (and even improving) their productivity. The system, selective spraying (SSP), plugs into anyone’s sprayer and works immediately. GreenEye employs AI and deep-learning to transition to precise spraying of herbicides, reducing pesticide waste. The technology can differentiate weeds from crops in real-time and even identify the specific weed species to ensure they are targeted and removed.
The company is led by CEO & Co-Founder: Nadav Bocher, Head of R&D & Co-Founder: Dr. Itzhak Khait, and CTO and Co-Founder: Alon Klein Orback. They recently closed $7 million in Seed funding and are expanding into the US market in 2022.
Imagine an all-in-one farm management platform. It isn’t as far away as it may seem. CropX, an Israeli startup based in Netanya, has created a cloud-based platform that draws data from the soil, satellites, weather forecasts, crops, and more to provide farmers with ways to streamline their crop maintenance. Cropx’s advice targets the challenging question of how to irrigate and fertilize, given all the external factors of your farm and crops.
CropX has an impressive list of partnerships, including Reinke, a large US-based irrigation manufacturer, Grupo Rotoplas, a water solution company based in Mexico, and most notably, NASA Harvest, NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture program area. The startup is run by CEO: Tomer Tzach, President and CRO: John Vikupitz, and CTO: Nadav Liebermann.
As a farmer, knowing the climate you are working in is imperative to a successful harvest. Israeli startup Emnotion is stepping in to try and save crops from natural disasters, no matter the location. The startup has created a climate forecasting technology that offers predictive warnings tailored to “hyper-local” regions. To do this, it utilizes Big Data analysis, ML, NLP, and multi-level clustering analysis (GIS). Now, you can foresee climate dynamics, allowing you to plan your crop farming accordingly.
Emnotion has been bootstrapped since its founding in 2016. It is led by CEO and Co-Founder: Ilya Shapira, CTO and Co-Founder: Alexander Zogas, and Co-Founder and Advisor: Yosef Shapira. They have partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), focusing on the agriculture sector.
Unfortunately, we can’t communicate with plants in a conventional sense. However, SupPlant, an Israeli startup based in Afula, offers farmers an innovative solution. Powered by AI, SupPlant analyzes data collected (every 10 minutes) from the fruit, leaf, stem, and soil to provide actionable recommendations to keep crops as healthy as possible. This advice is easily accessible on both SupPlant’s mobile app and desktop platform.
As CEO, Ori Ben Ner explained in a previous conversation with Geektime, “the accuracy of data pulled straight from the plant is far higher, and therefore crop volume, crop health, and water savings all rise exponentially.”
The startup was founded in 2012, and to date, has raised $19 million. SupPlant has expanded into the global market, with over 450 million farmers around the world utilizing their API platform.
Taranis is looking at crop management from different perspectives overhead. At the highest point, it employs satellite imagery to measure the entire field. It then zooms in to 8cm ultra-high resolution (UHR) to identify plant zones in need of attention. Lastly, AI², compatible with drones or small aircrafts, measures on the 0.3-0.5mm level to focus on specific leaf activity. Taranis allows for farmers to identify early signs of crop deterioration and make decisions based on the advice provided.
The startup was founded in 2015 and is currently led by CTO and Co-Founder: Eli Bukchin, President and Co-Founder: Ofir Schlam, CEO: Bar Veinstein, and COO and CFO: Opher Flohr. Last year, the Israeli agtech startup raised a $30 million Series C, bringing the company's total raised capital to $60 million to date. In more recent news, Taranis has moved its headquarters from Tel Aviv to Indiana.