Flex and bosch invested in CropX ground breaking agricultural sensor
13 April, 2016
CropX raised $10 million. The Israeli startup has developed soil moisture sensor that transmits data onto the cloud, enabling accurate adaptive irrigation
CropX raised $10 million. The Israeli startup has developed ground breaging soil moisture sensor that transmits data onto the cloud, enabling accurate adaptive irrigation
Global electronic manufacturing services provider, Flex, joined the $10 million funding A round of CropX from Tel-aviv. CropX has developed a ground breaking soil sensor to monitor the exact the exact moisture levels of agricultural cultivated plots. Beside Flex, the Bosch Venture Capital Gmbh (RBVC) has joined the round as well.
The new CropX sensor is screwed into the soil to measure moisture levels. The sensor is able to analyze soil types and sends the processed data to a smart control system, which supplies the farmer with accurate, specific information concerning the irrigation of each cultivated plot. The system is already in use in more than 20 large scale farms in the US, encompassing some 5,000 acres.
The RBVC fund is owned by the Bosh group, one of the world biggest sensor manufacturers. The fund has stated that it invested in CropX, “Due to its breakthrough do-it-yourself soil sensor technology, scalable IoT platform, powerful analytic and low-barrier, SaaS business model”.
The growing Gap of food production
CropX’s technology tackles the growing water shortage by optimizing agricultural irrigation. CropX focuses on low-cost and ease of use while existing AgTech solutions such as drones and on-farm weather stations tend to be technologically challenging and extremely expensive – while failing to deliver dramatic improvement of yields.
Felxtronics Investment in CropX was made through the Felx IX technology accelerator, a leading “sketch-to-scale” solutions company that designs and builds intelligent products for a connected world. Jeannine Sargent, president of Innovation and New Ventures at Flex, commented, “Population growth and shifting regional economies are driving increases in global food demand, with a growing gap in our ability to meet this need.
“CropX solutions have the potential to address key gaps by bringing digital intelligence to today’s agricultural industry. We are pleased to be partnering with CropX through this strategic investment.”
Arama Kukutai, Chairman of CropX and Partner at Finistere Ventures noted: “Strategic investors like Flex and Robert Bosch Venture Capital will help us drive these technologies to wider adoption in the United States and globally.” The company’s Series A financing, which was extended from $9M to $10M to accommodate investor interest. Other investors in this round are Finistere Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, GreenSoil Investments and OurCrowd.
The funding will support continued growth and product development, including advances in nutrition, plant protection, planting and harvesting. The CEO, Issac Bentwich, said that the vision is to go far beyond row crops. “We want to make adaptive irrigation a global endeavor, and you can only do that by moving the lab into the soil and the resulting data into the cloud.”
Bentwich is a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of many companies including Rosetta Genomics. He stressed that efficient water usage should start on the farm, but there is no reason to end there. “We need to make better use of our water supply across the board – from millions of acres of commercial row crops and thousands of orchards and organic farms, to golf courses and the smart homes of the future. Adaptive irrigation has the potential to save billions of gallons of water each year while driving better outcomes for farmers, business and consumers alike.”