Israeli living plant sensors developer InnerPlant has announced the completion of $5.65 million seed and pre-seed financing round led by MS&AD Ventures, the investment arm of the Japanese insurance titan MS&AD Insurance Group, with participation from Bee Partners, Up West, and TAU Ventures.
The new capital will be used to develop new products using data directly from plants for crop risk management and food supply chains.
InnerPlant was founded in 2018 by CEO Shely Aronov to develop genetically adapted living sensors that help farmers grow plants more sustainably, cutting their reliance on pesticides and fertilizer.
Aronov said, "Enabling crops to express their needs finally brings the data revolution to the farmer’s field in a way that fits with how they’re already working. Rather than installing hardware across fields, farmers continue planting crops the way they always have and our platform pulls data directly from individual plants to provide farmers with insight into stresses so resources like pesticides and fertilizers are used only when needed."
Farmers routinely see up to 20% of their harvests destroyed by pathogens that could have been controlled with earlier detection and more responsive, plant-specific interventions. InnerPlant’s approach to collecting data directly from plants and its use of advanced algorithms to process the data provides plant-by-plant status that’s impractical using external sensors.
InnerPlant delivers this data flow by tapping plants’ natural defenses. Plants have evolved sophisticated defense mechanisms to protect themselves from environmental stresses. InnerPlant utilizes these signals by adding a safe protein, long studied for human consumption, to plants' capabilities. When plants are thirsty, short of nutrients, or under attack by pests or fungi, they generate different optical signals that can be seen in daylight using common optical filters on devices ranging from an iPhone or tractor to a satellite.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 20, 2021
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