With investors including Nutrien and Cavallo Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis’ venture capital arm, Taranis has closed its Series B round of financing with $20 million. [Other investors include Viola, Vertex Ventures, Finistere and OurCrowd]
The three-year old company combines computer vision, data science and deep learning algorithms to monitor fields.
As CEO Ofir Schlam explains, the company provides remote sensing packages for a $5/acre fee that includes multiple flights---weekly satellite image, an ultra-high res image, and another pass with sub centimeter level resolution.
The company uses an off the shelf DJI drone, which can capture 5,000 acres a day. Schlam explains using their proprietary camera system, they can capture clean usable images at 35 mph with a drone or 100 mph with a plane.
“We can monitor pest pressures in a crop down to the insect, such as Japense beetles in Illinois this past year, or down to the disease pressure on an individual leaf, such as corn leaf blight in Iowa,” he says. “We can process an image of a 100-acre field in four or five minutes of a scan and produce 100 scouting points.”
The company has intentionally focused on broad acre crops (not specialty crops) and has experience in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, and Australia.
“With each flight, machine learning trains our system to be smarter and smarter every time for improved diagnostics,” Schlam says. “By the end of 2019, we want to cover 75% of the yield threats in corn, wheat, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets.”
He says the new funding will be used to continue to scale up the company for greater geographic reach as well as add team members.
“We want to work with channel partners–retailers and independent crop consultants,” Schlam says. “We’ve also had contracts with large-scale farmers who have enough in-house staff to use this technology.”