Smart irrigation company SupPlant raises US$10m to grow presence in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Precision agriculture company SupPlant has raised US$10 million to widen the reach of its smart irrigation technology in the South African market.

The company partnered with private equity firm Boresight Capital, social impact fund Menomadin Foundation, Israel-listed Smart-Agro Fund and Israel-headquartered investment company Mivtah Shamir, on the company’s latest fundraising round, bringing its total funding to US$19 million.

SupPlant considers the South African market to have great potential, since farmers are dealing increasingly with unpredictable weather patterns, as a result of climate change.

The SupPlant technology saves water, reduces costs and improves productivity and yield as it uses agronomic algorithms, artificial intelligence and cloud-based technology to measure the stress levels of plants and monitor water content, alongside plant and fruit growth patterns.

The technology involves sensors being placed on four parts of a plant, gathering data and combining it with real-time and forecasted climatic data.

This enables real-time plant monitoring for farmers further aiding decision-making. Since SupPlant’s online platform helps make precise irrigation recommendations, based on crop data.

“The funds raised in this round will allow us to speed up implementation of our new development – a fully sensor-less industry-defining irrigation regime.

SupPlant CEO – Ori Ben

SupPlant’s database holds the combined expertise of 31 crops across 14 countries, covering growing conditions from dry arid regions in the Middle East to tropical conditions in Central America.

The company is rapidly growing its presence across the world, with a strong presence so far in Mexico, Australia and Argentina.

In South Africa, SupPlant will be represented and distributed by AECI Plant Health.

SupPlant CEO Ori Ben remarks that the company aims to reach as many South African farmers as possible and help them use less water, while producing more and better crops.

“The funds raised in this round will allow us to speed up implementation of our new development – a fully sensor-less industry-defining irrigation regime.

“It is far superior to any common practice available and is built for the vast majority of farmers on earth – smallholders that can’t afford access to hardware intense technology and unique knowledge.

“We already have strategic and disruptive agreements in place with global leaders that will allow us to reach millions of farmers in the upcoming year with this new and exciting technology,” he said.

Boresight partner Jeffrey Swartz added that, in a world at risk of the destructive impact of the changing climate, SupPlant’s solution is a concrete example of how technology can improve the ecosystem, by producing food more sustainably.

SupPlant’s vision is that its technology will be integrated into every irrigation command given on earth. The company experienced a growth of 1,200% in 2020.

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