2021 brought new records on agritech and cleantech investments. According to a report from AgFundernews, agritech startups globally raised $24 billion in the first half of 2021 – getting very close to the total for all 2020. In the cleantech sector, investments were more than three times higher in the first half of 2021 when compared to 2020, according to a major new analysis from PwC. During the second semester of the year, the investments cycle continued, and several EIC-funded companies from agritech and cleantech sectors followed this trend. AEInnova, MetoMotion and Biome Makers are three examples of EIC startups providing fertile innovations with recent funding rounds. We sat down with their CEOs to discover their investment stories.
$5 million to bring robotic automation to the greenhouse industry
MetoMotion is an Israel-based startup that aims to transform indoor farming production in modern greenhouses through its smart robotics platform. With its technology GRoW, MetoMotion introduces a fully autonomous system that can identify ripe fruit, pick and pack directly into a box allowing growers and farmers to focus on their crops, solve labour shortages, reduce costs and improve yields.
This $5 million investment round was led by Ridder, a leading greenhouse technology company that will incorporate MetoMotion’s technology into its own, and Navus Ventures, the family investment office of Lely. According to the CEO of the EIC-funded startup, Adi Nir, the funds will be used for finalizing R&D activities, setting up production and marketing activities and launching the commercial product.
“MetoMotion’s aims to change modern farming by using AI and robotics to solve the labour shortage and data analytics solutions to increase yield and monitor the crops. This investment round will finance the launching of the first product, bring our robotic tomato harvester to the market, and build technical support and after-sales services to ensure the successful introduction of our product to the market”.
Biome Makers receives $15 million in Series B funding to secure a position as the global leader in biological soil analysis
Biome Makers has spent the last few years promoting sustainable farming practices using soil biology standard analytics and developing artificial intelligence-based tools to determine the most sustainable solutions for agricultural communities to make the best decisions for land management. In August 2021, the startup announced a $15M Series B round led by Prosus Ventures, with Seaya Ventures, Viking Global Investors, JME Ventures, and Pymwymic. The new funds will support the company’s next growth phase. Biome Makers aims to accelerate the global expansion of BeCrop solutions as the industry standard for functional soil analysis and sustainable soil health recovery, supporting the independent assessment of the impact of crop inputs and farming practices to support personalized agriculture.
Biome Makers has expanded U.S. operations into Europe and Central America and plans to expand further into South America, Asia, Australia and much of Africa, where a significant company footprint has already been established. Also, the company will continue to support and create initiatives such as Fields4Ever supporting over 200 research actions in 35 countries on soil health and enable the BeCrop Advisory program to allow the entire farming community to access and use BeCrop technology. Biome Makers also gives back 2% of revenues to support one of the most urgent environmental issues, soil health restoration.
“We are on a mission to restore the health and fertility of the soil and develop a more sustainable and respectful way to do agriculture,” said Adrian Ferrero, co-founder and CEO of Biome Makers. “After building strong relationships with our customers and expanding the operation to Europe and Central America, we recognize the need to scale as we grow, increasing access to our unique tools for the agriculture industry. We’re excited to partner with top-tier investors who share our vision for building a sustainable farming future.”
€4,5 million for wireless and batteryless IoT device with full monitoring system
AEinnova’s sensing technology aims to help Energy Intensive industries with large facilities (such as oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical, food and wood industries) to achieve the industry 4.0 transition in a costly, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way. Battery-powered wireless sensing solutions have high maintenance costs, a high environmental impact and are typically not suitable to these industries due to the explosion risk of lithium batteries. The company created the first wireless industrial IoT device to solve these limitations. Indu-Eye is batteryless, free-of-maintenance, wireless long-range, self-powered by heat and taking all the advantages of all the state-of-the-art.
In October 2021, the company signed an investment agreement with the EIC Fund to accelerate its growth. The 4,5 million € funds raised will support the company in completing the product portfolio, advancing in the certification of our products, the IP protection, and creating the commercial and operations structure to initiate sales.
The CEO David Comellas highlighted that AEinnnova is one of the first energy and IoT companies to be directly invested by the European Fund. This capital will help locate the company on top of the industrial automatization.
“We aim to become the leading company in self-powered IoT solutions for the industry and energy harvesting solutions. We want to demonstrate that new high-tech companies can grow in Europe despite all the difficulties we face in our path. The support of the EIC will also be crucial to achieving our goals.”
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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interest of knowledge sharing and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.