Omron Ventures makes first investment in Japanese precision ag

The venture capital arm of the Japanese electronics firm has invested into Plant Life Systems, a sensor and control systems company, to improve agri productivity in Asia.

Omron Ventures, the recently-founded venture capital arm of the Japanese electronics company, has invested in Plant Life Systems (PLS), a Japanese company that develops plant cultivation control systems – precision agriculture tools – for horticulture.

This is Omron’s first investment since its founding in July 2014. The funding from Omron will help PLS promote technology development and better prepare it to go into the field of agriculture control system.

Founded in October 2014, PLS technology aims to improve farmer productivity through sensors and software and it will use the funding to develop a plant growth prediction and control system, according to a press release.

Both PLS and Omron have their own farms to do feasibility studies. Omron established a pilot farm in Wuxi, China in collaboration with a local firm where it will build 400 greenhouses. The set up, which will be installed with sensors, is aiming to produce 1.5 times to 2 times more than conventional farms.

Omron Ventures is the venture investing arm of Omron Corp, an electronics company based in Kyoto, Japan. Agriculture is one of Omron’s investment targets. Other areas include life sciences, healthcare, safety & security sensing, Internet of Things, wearable devices and environment & energy.