Israeli agtech company Prospera, an award-winning startup that develops computer vision technologies to monitor and predict plant health and development, announced this week that it entered into an agreement to be acquired by US manufacturing company Valmont Industries, a maker of linear irrigation equipment and windmill support structures, for approximately $300 million. The transaction is expected to close later this year.
Founded in 2014, Prospera captures multiple layers of climate and visual data from the crop ﬁeld and provides actionable, easy-to-read insights to growers via mobile and web dashboards.
Prospera and Valmont have had a standing strategic collaboration since 2019 and the acquisition is a culmination of the relationship, the parties said in a statement. The two have integrated AI technologies with center pivot irrigation to develop real-time crop analysis and anomaly detection solutions. In 2020, the partnership grew to include intelligent solutions, with monitoring of five million acres against an original estimate of one million for the year, with twice as many growers using the service as compared to 2019.
“Our strategic partnership has demonstrated the unique combined value of Prospera’s capabilities and Valmont’s agricultural expertise and market leadership,” said Prospera co-founder and CEO Daniel Koppel. “This combination is the fastest way to scale impactful ag-tech solutions. We are excited about the future and the opportunity to continue to further our work to feed an expanding global population through our machine learning technologies that allow growers to make more informed, efficient and scientific decisions.”
Valmont President and CEO Stephen G. Kaniewski said the acquisition was “a testament to our commitment to make the farm more efficient and increase productivity while dramatically improving sustainability.”
“Building on the successful partnership with Prospera, we are accelerating our commitment to provide services that enhance the lives of our customers and the communities in which they operate, as well as finding new ways to achieve higher crop yields using less – land, water, chemicals, fertilizers, fuel and time,” added Kaniewski.
The parties indicated that the transaction “will create the largest global, vertically-integrated AI company in agriculture, immediately providing a highly differentiated in-season solution.”
Prospera’s senior leadership team, headquartered in Austin, Texas, and some 90 employees based at the R&D center in Tel Aviv will continue with the business post-close, the company said.
Last month, Prospera was listed among 11 Israeli-founded companies included in the fifth annual AI 100 finalists report put together by New York-based research firm CB Insights, recognizing promising, private AI companies driving innovation across industries.
In 2020, Prospera was listed among 100 firms to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Technology Pioneers list, honoring initiatives that address global issues with cutting-edge technology. The company was also named among the top 50 firms worldwide in the food tech and agtech (agriculture tech) sectors in 2020 in a report put together by SVG Ventures-THRIVE and published by Forbes.