Ag tech start-up SeeTree secures $15m funding

The firm will focus on developing artificial intelligence and drone technology to monitor citrus tree orchards health and productivity in California and Brazil.

Israel-based ag tech start-up SeeTree has secured a total of $15 million in financing, after announcing a $11.5 million Series A funding round this month.

Hanaco Ventures, led the Series A, which included the backers of a $3.2 million seed round in 2017, Canaan Partners Israel, Uri Levine, iAngel and Mindset – all venture capitalists.

“The new round worked much faster than expected, reaching $15 million in just 16 months. I believe it was made possible mainly due to the fast market conversion from trial to paying customers, as a clear indication of the high value SeeTree brings”, co-founder and chairman, Barak Hachamov, told Agri Investor.

Another investment round is planned in a year, although that could be brought forward.

SeeTree’s technology consists of an intelligence network for farmers that uses machine-learning algorithms to help monitor the health and productivity of fruit trees. SeeTree believes drone-based precision agriculture has not worked well in the past for permanent crops like fruit trees.

“The start-up will continue to enhance our technology and capabilities further for citrus tree orchards,” Hachamov said.

The firm had previously been working with large-scale citrus growers based in California. “Recently, we have expanded to Brazil. We will continue focusing our work in California and Brazil,” he said.

“The technology is particularly important for Brazil, for instance, with citrus growers fighting HLB disease (‘citrus greening’) as it allows early detection of the disease, to minimize the effects of it”, he added.

The start-up also plans to extend to other types of crops, including almonds in California, and open additional offices outside its current locations in California and Brazil.