SOUTH AFRICA, 18 March 2022: SupPlant, an Israeli agritech company, has raised an additional USD 27m (R408 million) to assist South African farmers to adopt digital solutions for fighting climate change.
Red Dot Capital Partners led SupPlant's funding round, which was co-led by Menomadin Foundation, Smart-Agro Fund, Mivtah Shamir, Deshpande Foundation, PBFS, and Maor Investments.
"The funds raised in this round will allow us to invest in the South African market and open other markets as well,” said Ori Ben Ner, CEO of SupPlant.
“We also plan to continue to develop our product in order to help farmers in South Africa fight climate change. It is far superior from any common practice available and is built for the vast majority of farmers on earth smallholders that can’t afford access to hardware-intense technology and unique knowledge,” Ben added.
SupPlant's technological solutions are already in existence in South Africa and are assisting farmers to transform irrigation methods. As a result of global warming, the company says it has expanded support for its local clients - farmers in South Africa who have to contend with rapidly changing weather patterns and a shortage of irrigation water every day.
The company first announced its plans to expand locally in June last year, when it raised USD 9m (R137 million) funding for locals. At the time, it said it intended to change the basic concepts of irrigation through technology.
SupPlant's latest multimillion-dollar additional support comes in the wake of a growing focus on-farm technology, especially in developing countries.
In addition to the recent multimillion-dollar investment by SupPlant in South Africa, there has been an increase in focus on technological enhancements for farming, particularly in developing nations.
In a statement, SupPlant says its technology uses sensors that will be placed on the plants and their surroundings, which radiate the plant’s data on how much water the plant actually needs to maximise growth, to the cloud.
This data, the company says, is then translated through the use of artificial intelligence and big data to irrigation models, recommendations and actionable insights.
For the funders, Atad Peled, principal at Red Dot, comments on the transaction “We were impressed by SupPlant’s abilities and recent expansion into strategic markets. We were also inspired by their goal of working with smallholder farms, which usually do not have access to agritech. Food security will be a major issue in coming years, and we feel certain SupPlant’s solution will have a stand-out role in it.”
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