AgTech intelligence company SeeTree raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group. SeeTree announced that the funding will help the company scale globally, grow its R&D and customer support teams, and broaden its services to cover new crops.
Founded in 2017 by former intelligence officers and serial entrepreneurs, SeeTree provides farmers with an end-to-end service to manage and optimize the health and productivity of their trees. The startup extracts data using high-resolution, multi-dimensional sensing imagery obtained from drones, paired with ground sensors and rangers with boots-on-the-ground who acquire samples for further analysis.
SeeTree monitors over fifty million trees around the world, the company says, and hopes to get to a billion trees by 2023. SeeTree is headquartered in Tel Aviv, with offices in California and Brazil. The company employees over 120 people globally.
Additional investors in this current financing round for SeeTree include Brazilian company Citrosuco (one of the world’s largest orange juice concentrate producers) Orbia Ventures, a corporate VC of Orbia (formerly Mexichem) a global provider of innovative solutions for rapid urbanization and water and food scarcity that owns Netafim, the leading drip-irrigation system in the world), and Kubota, a Japanese manufacturer specializing in tractor and agriculture-related equipment).
Existing investor Hanaco Ventures, a Tel Aviv and New York-based VC firm that also led the $15 million Series A round in SeeTree last year, participated as well.
“All of our new investors are true partners who believe in the power of our platform to increase productivity and help address the impact of the climate and other major challenges in agricultural production today and going forward to the future,” said Israel Talpaz, SeeTree’s co-founder and CEO.
“We started with citrus and are servicing the largest citrus growers globally. We have a strong playbook and will continue scaling within citrus. We are now equally focused on growing our offerings into new crops such as almonds, olives, and hazelnuts, where we are already deployed and supporting farmers,” he added.
Talpaz says SeeTree’s solution can reduce operational expenses by 20-40 percent. “By connecting SeeTree to tractors, irrigation systems we can unlock additional optimizations to further increase the value to our farmers,” he explained.
“Artificial intelligence can revolutionize agriculture and have a transformative impact on productivity, the environment, and the livelihoods of farmers,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, of IFC. “We are excited to invest in SeeTree´s technology and help leverage precision agriculture in emerging markets.”