SupPlant, an Israeli agtech startup developing a sensor-less irrigation system, secured $10 million in funding. The round was led by Boresight Capital, Menomadin Foundation, Smart-Agro Fund and Mivtah Shamir.
The SupPlant technology measures the stress of the plant, monitors 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 to help prepare for bad weather; improve quality testing for sugar levels in fruits, as well as learn the plant and fruit’s reaction to climate changes.
Farmers can easily access the SupPlant system through the company’s app and website - the communication channels through which irrigation insight is provided to users (farmers), as well as alerting to real-time changes in irrigation protocols, abnormal weather patterns, and more.
Along with the new funding, SupPlant also launched a new product; using aggregated agronomic data, to provide farmers with a sensor-less option to irrigation management insight. The company reports that there are 450,000,000 small farmers who lack access to the company’s advanced hardware-software solution.By providing a sensor-less option, SupPlant can leverage large grid readings to offer small farmers irrigation recommendations at a lower cost.
In a chat with Geektime, CEO Ori Ben Ner talks about the differences between SupPlant and market competitors - including Viridix, another Israeli agtech startup. He says that the company’s technology is based on sensors, which are mounted to the trees and fruit. “Unlike other solutions which are based on ground sensors or bird-eye view images - the accuracy of data pulled straight from the plant is far higher, and therefore crop volume, crop health, and water savings all rise exponentially,” says Ben Ner.
He adds that SupPlant is the first and only company to develop, based on data from its own sensors, a fully autonomous irrigation solution. Ben Ner notes that “you can learn a lot from a self-watering Avocado, because in the end, that’s the most accurate irrigation advice you can get,” and he claims that based on these advantages - SupPlant has created the world’s largest database irrigation based knowledge.
According to Ben Ner, this is also what led to the company’s new sensor-less irrigation API. “For the first time small farmers have access to crop management technologies, which can dramatically improve their crop yields at lower costs. It has a macro impact on rationing the world’s food and on the quality of life for farming communities in developing countries.
SupPlant was founded in 2012 by company President Zohar Ben Ner. This round brings SupPlant’s total raised capital to $19 million to date.