Precision sprayer Greeneye defies market slump to raise $20 million to scale US operation – but will farmers follow?

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Getty/The Creative Drone
Image: Getty/The Creative Drone

Related tags Precision agriculture AI

The Israeli company says securing this round of capital in today’s challenging economic climate is further validation of Greeneye’s mission to drive mainstream adoption of precision spraying technology in the US.

In 2023 only 27% of US farms or ranches used precision agriculture practices to manage crops or livestock, based on reporting from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The main factors slowing wider adoption of precision agriculture are the technological barriers, infrastructure and regulatory​ challenges, high upfront costs, and uncertainty about the return on investment for farmers. Overcoming these barriers will be key to accelerating the use of precision farming techniques.

Investment is a challenge too. Start-ups in the precision ag sector got $280 million from 47 deal counts in the first quarter of 2024, according to the latest PitchBook data​, down from $803.9 million from 78 deals in the third quarter.  

Despite the market slump, solutions and investment is coming, such as Orchard Robotics, a start-up enabling precision crop management with robots and AI, which recently raised $3.8m​. AI-enabled precision spraying technology Greeneye Technology has now announced the completion of a $20 million funding round led by Israeli investment company Deep Insight.

The investment will be used to significantly scale Greeneye’s operation in the US and to advance the technology’s analytical capabilities and extend its usage to new inputs and crops. The next phase of expansion will see dozens more systems deployed in farmers’ fields this year, targeting the 200 million acres of corn, soybean and cotton grown in the US.

“Securing this round of capital in today’s challenging economic climate is further validation of Greeneye’s mission to drive mainstream adoption of precision spraying technology in the US and, ultimately, globally,” said Nadav Bocher CEO Greeneye Technology. “We are delighted to welcome our new investors, and I would also like to thank our existing partners for their continued support. Together, we will continue to push technological boundaries in order to solve farmers’ critical challenges, overcome environmental challenges, and protect farmland for generations to come.”

Greeneye’s mission is to significantly reduce the millions of tons of agricultural chemicals that are applied to farmers’ fields globally each year, the majority of which are sprayed onto bare soil or crops. This overuse of chemicals – the result of what has until now been a necessary reliance on broadcast spraying – results in soil and water pollution, causes weeds to develop resistance to herbicides, increases chemical levels in food, and creates a large financial burden for farmers.

Using AI to spray chemicals only where they are needed

Greeneye says its tech is proven to reduce herbicide use in farming by an average of 88%. Its solution harnesses AI in combination with cutting-edge hardware to identify weeds among crops with high accuracy and spray chemicals only where they are needed – directly onto the weeds​.

It is designed to integrate with any brand, model or size of commercial sprayer, enabling farmers to seamlessly transition to precision spraying without having to invest in a costly new sprayer. In addition, its dual line/tank configuration enables precision and broadcast spraying to be carried out simultaneously, increasing both productivity and efficacy. In 2022, Greeneye became the first company to launch precision spraying technology commercially in the US.

The round is supported by existing investors Syngenta Group Ventures, JVP, Orbia Ventures, and Eyal Waldman, the founder and former CEO of Mellanox (now part of Nvidia), as well as other notable new investors including Iron Nation and Amol Deshpande, the founder and former CEO of FBN. Also as part of today’s announcement, Greeneye welcomes Barak Ben Eliezer, Managing Partner at Deep Insight, to its Board of Directors.

Deep Insight’s managing partner said: “Our mission is to invest in disruptive technologies and ambitious leadership teams that have the potential to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and Greeneye fits squarely into that category.

“Building safe and resilient food systems that are capable of feeding a growing global population is of the utmost importance, and it starts by equipping farmers with the tools they need to transition to new practices. Not only does Greeneye understand this, but it has succeeded where others have not by bringing to market a viable precision spraying solution that is easy and affordable for farmers to implement into their existing operations. From a strategic point of view, Greeneye has also proven that it has a very clear understanding of the milestones it needs to reach in order to drive mass adoption of its technology, and it has achieved those milestones time and time again. We are proud to invest in Greeneye Technology and to be part of its exciting journey.”

Greeneye Technology is a “shining example of Israeli innovation that is bringing about truly transformative change,” added JVP’s general partner Gadi Porat. “As concerns around the level of chemicals found in our food continue to increase, the global effort to address the issue is intensifying. Not only is Greeneye’s groundbreaking technology helping to ensure that the food we eat is healthier and safer, but it also translates into significantly lower costs for farmers. We are extremely proud of the huge strides Greeneye is making to address the world’s climate and environmental crisis. With its talented founders and business leaders at the helm, and with its additional investment partners, we are confident that Greeneye will become an international category leader in its field.”

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