Israeli start-up Greeneye Technology has secured $7 million during a seed-funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), the company announced Tuesday.Greeneye is currently developing a next-generation artificial intelligence system that helps farmers accurately detect and spray weeds without having to blanket their crops in herbicides. Other major investors included 2B Angels, One Way venture, Panache Ventures Techstars and Hyperplane Venture Capital.Whereas many farmers spray their crops uniformly using chemical-intensive treatments – a process which doesn't differentiate between crops, ground soil and weeds – Greeneye developed a selective spraying system (SSP) to address this issue head-on. The technology will assist greatly in reducing water and soil contamination that accompanies the use of intensive chemical treatments. With the innovation, farmers will be able to stave off economic losses directly attributed to crop damage stemming from these blanket chemical treatments, and in the process, the rate in which their crops become resistant to the herbicides used in these treatments will decelerate as well.“We are thrilled to have JVP, an international leading VC fund, and Syngenta as strategic and industry expert investors to help fuel Greeneye’s growth,” said co-founder and CEO Nadav Bocher. “Both our investors share with us the understanding that the way farmers spray chemicals in agriculture is about to be massively disrupted for a more efficient and sustainable manner," he said. "Our mission is to reduce the use of chemicals that are being sprayed in agriculture, utilizing artificial intelligence to provide precise and targeted spraying in real-time, and save money for farmers while increasing their productivity and profitability. Our trials indicate that our technology reduces herbicide usage by 65‒92%, which supports our mission to address these global agricultural challenges.” Participation in the funding round also included Syngenta Ventures, the largest crop chemical producer in the world. Greeneye announced that it will be adding two new members to their board, JVP Partner Michal Drayman and Managing Director of Syngenta Ventures Shubhang Shankar.“Greeneye’s technology is revolutionizing the agricultural industry by reducing 90% of pollutants and hazardous use of pesticides, impacting our soil, water, air and the very crops we eat," said JVP founder & chairman Erel Margalit." Governments, farmers and the general public are striving for a reality in which agriculture protects the environment."
"The strategic partnership forged with Syngenta is a clear show of confidence in Greeneye’s technology, signaling that the future is already here," he said. "CEO Nadav Bucher and the wonderful team he has put together are doing excellent work developing international strategic connections, building the company. In just a few short years, farmers worldwide will be implementing Greeneye’s revolutionary technology in everyday use."With the use of the SPP system, farmers can save up to 90% for each treatment with regard to their chemical usage, since the innovative method can differentiate weeds in real-time in lieu of the normal treatment which blankets crops with herbicides without distinction, to obtain the same desired effect. Furthermore, farmers are not forced to upgrade or buy new sprayers/equipment in order to implement the Greeneye technology into their routines, as industrial sized herbicide sprayers can seamlessly be turned into smart machines sporting Greeneye's state-of-the-art pulse-width modulation (PMW) system, according to the company.“The future of weed control will enable growers to spray more efficiently and more sustainably, addressing challenges such as herbicide resistance and overuse of inputs,” Shankar said. “To achieve this requires a cost-effective solution that addresses real-world conditions. The Greeneye team has developed a platform that has the potential to solve many of the technical challenges facing row-crop growers, while applying industry-leading technologies that are scalable to commercial agriculture.”To accompany Greeneye's SPP system, the company also developed a digital platform to help farmers collect and analyze high-resolution data on their crops - giving them every tool needed to be successful in future harvests in addition to reducing their overall carbon footprint on the Earth. "Greeneye is an example of digital agriculture at its best", says Drayman. “The unique technology developed by the company increases the yield for agricultural crops, saves money, reduces pollution levels: a groundbreaking breakthrough in sustainability." "This is the future agricultural model, in line with the dynamic and demanding global regulatory requirements," he concluded. "Recently, the EU announced a new target to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2030. We believe that the growing demand for environmental protection, along with regulatory requirements, are generating a significant market for Greeneye, including from the global players who lead the agriculture industry,” he concluded.