Smart Agro R&D Partnership (TASE: SMAG) announced today its fourth investment since its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) last year. The partnership is investing $1 million in the $5 million financing round raised by FruitSpec, which will allocate to the Partnership Senior A shares, giving a stake of about 5.8% of the capital of the shares allocated by the company.
Investors in the company in the current $5 million financing round include US investment fund Ocean Azul Partners, European investment fund Amathaon Capital, Agriline (a trust of which Vincent Tchenguiz is a discretionary beneficiary), and Trendlines.
Israeli startup FruitSpec was founded in 2016 by Raviv Kula, Nir Margalit, and Shahar Nitsan. The company has developed a system for managing early estimation of fruit yields, allowing very accurate forecasts of production of fruits in the orchards, at a relatively early stage in the cultivation process. This makes the fruit supply chain more streamlined and brings fresh fruit to retailers in the most efficient way.
The system is based on hyper-spectral technology, which allows the fruit to be seen and counted at the start of the growing season, when the fruit is still relatively small. With the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI), the system knows how to integrate the information coming from the hyper-spectral based images with relevant additional data and predict with a very high percentage of accuracy the yield of the fruit crop in the plantation in a relatively early stage of cultivation.
The data which is gathered by the aforementioned system can be seen by a digital platform that provides the user with different information about the orchard. Receiving this information at a relatively early stage assists the farmer and allows packing companies and suppliers to receive specific and accurate data about the amount of the fruit produce from the orchards with which they do business, and so plan the number and type of deals required for them in order to meet the supply in demand.
The company began sales if its system in 2020 and at the time of this report has sold systems to customers in North and South America, South Africa, and Europe. The company's customers include packing houses and distributors (B2B).
This investment follows three additional investments made by Smart Agro since its IPO: BetterSeeds - a pioneer in the field of genetic enhancement of overall agricultural crops (the Partnership invested about $2 million in it); Arugga - a pioneer in the field of AI and robotics in greenhouses (the Partnership invested about $500,000 in it); SupPlant - a pioneer in the field of agriculture and precision irrigation (the Partnership invested about $1.5 million in it), which was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the inventions of the year.
Smart Agro, managed by CEO Deganit Vered, raised NIS 48 million in its IPO on the TASE in October 2020. The Partnership, which is managed by Deganit Vered, focuses on agro-tech companies with significant R&D.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 16, 2021.
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