Press Release: AgTech Company SeeTree Raises $30 Million in Series B Funding Round to Scale Globally and Expand into New Crops
SeeTree, an AI-powered, end-to-end service that provides growers with intelligence on trees and tree clusters, announced today that it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. This third round of funding, one of the largest investment rounds for an Israeli Agtech company, will allow SeeTree to scale globally, grow the R&D and customer-facing teams and broaden services to cover new crops.
Other investors include Citrosuco, one of the world’s largest orange juice producers with sales to more than 100 countries; Orbia Ventures, corporate VC of Orbia, a global provider of innovative solutions for rapid urbanization and water and food scarcity that owns Netafim, the leading drip irrigation system in the world; and Kubota, a Japanese manufacturer specializing in tractor and agricultural equipment. Existing investor Hanaco Ventures, a leading Tel Aviv and New York-based VC who led the Series A round, is participating as well.
“All of our new investors are true partners who believe in the power of our platform to increase productivity and help address the impact of the climate and other major challenges in agricultural production today and going forward to the future,” said Israel Talpaz, SeeTree co-founder and CEO.
“Artificial intelligence can revolutionize agriculture and have a transformative impact on productivity, the environment and the livelihoods of farmers,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, interim managing director and executive vice president and chief operating officer of IFC. “We are excited to invest in SeeTree´s technology and help leverage precision agriculture in emerging markets.”
With operations in Brazil, the United States, Chile and South Africa and a team of 120 professionals, SeeTree monitors over 50 million trees around the world, which will grow to 1 billion trees by 2023.
“We started with citrus and are servicing the largest citrus growers globally. We have a strong playbook and will continue scaling within citrus. We are now equally focused on growing our offerings into new crops such as almonds, olives and hazelnuts, where we are already deployed and supporting farmers,” said Talpaz.
SeeTree’s system identifies the health and growth rates of every tree in a farmer’s grove and enables the creation of personalized cultivation plans for each tree or cluster of trees. SeeTree collects ultra high resolution images captured by drones and multi-spectral sensors, tree and soil samples and analyzes the data through the platform’s machine learning algorithms. Ultimately, farmers receive an easy-to-use product with features such as tree health, pest and disease tracking.
“Our vision is to enable the Tree Farming 4.0 Revolution with the Intelligence-per-Tree that we provide. SeeTree as a standalone solution can reduce operational expenses by 20-40%. By connecting SeeTree to tractors and irrigation systems, we can unlock additional optimizations to further increase the value to our farmers,” said Talpaz.
“This investment represents both Orbia’s and Netafim’s desire to expand its investments in the field of innovation and technology,” said Shai Albaranes, VP of innovation and ventures at Orbia. “As strategic investors, we see the integration of technology in Netafim’s global operations as a market leader. Joining Netafim and Orbia provides start-ups with access to international markets more easily, with the support and assistance of a leading global company.”
“SeeTree has scaled in a massive but frankly difficult-to-penetrate market,” said Pasha Romanovski, cofounder and partner at Hanaco Ventures and board director at SeeTree. “The SeeTree team, led by Israel, has been able to productize a tremendous amount of deep technology into a platform accessible to farmers. They’ve developed great technology and have been able to execute in an important market ripe for innovation – trees.”
Photo courtesy of David Greenwood-Haigh.