Israeli agtech startup Taranis has closed a $7.5 million Series A round. The investment was led by Finistere Ventures and Vertex Ventures, with participation from existing investors Eshbol Investments, Mindset Ventures, OurCrowd, and angel investor Eyal Gura. Arama Kukutai from Finistere Ventures and Yanai Oron from Vertex Ventures will join the company's Board.

Taranis is an agriculture intelligence platform, aiming to lead the revolution in digital farming by giving farmers around the globe the ability to predict and prevent detrimental threats to their crops.

“Our predictive analytics platform monitors all aspects of field conditions in real time and sends early warnings to farmers to help them protect their crops,” said Taranis CEO Ofir Schlam in a statement. “We want to make it easier for farmers anywhere, in any climate, to predict and overcome potential crop threats. This investment will help us build the right distribution channels and find the best talent to ensure we fulfill our precision ag vision.”

The agriculture industry loses more than $300 billion each year due to crop diseases and pests. Pests and diseases can destroy crops and devastate farmers’ agricultural yield, but chemical overuse comes with its own set of challenges, including pesticide-resistant disease strains. Meanwhile, rising temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide create more challenges for farmers as crop pests and disease thrive in hot, CO2-rich environments, and farmers around the globe also need to prepare for the surge of erratic weather patterns and damaging extreme weather that can lead to crop losses exceeding 90 percent. Taranis wants farmers to rethink how they approach crop disease and pest control, as well as how they prepare for and address weather concerns. The company claims that by using their platform, farmers can increase profits by more than 15 percent.

“The way farmers farm may be slowly changing, but the surge in farm technology does not always equate to better, or easier, farming practices. Farmers of all sizes need better access to weather and field data, and Taranis offers an encouraging field monitoring platform, that is also affordable,” noted Brent Smith, vice president of proprietary technology and innovation at Agrium, a global agricultural products retailer.

Taranis says it will use the latest investment to further develop its scalable pest and disease prediction platform, and to support its global growth, especially in the US. The company will also use the funding to expand its plant pathology, data science and software engineering teams.

Read more: Global Newswire (Press release)

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