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Taranis Raises $7.5M Series A Funding To Combine Modern Technology With Agriculture

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Taranis is an all-in-one web-based AgTech platform for weather intelligence and risk-management. Their platform specializes in providing data in the most critical fields such as weather forecasts, field scouting, physical and remote sensing and using that data to improve its analysis over time. To find out more about their platform we sat down with Ofir Schlam, Co-founder & CEO of Taranis:

Ofir_Schlam

Q: You’ve recently announced $7.5M in Series A Round; could you tell us something more?

A: We are especially excited about who the new partners are: Finistere is the world’s leading AgTech fund, and Vertex is a top-tier AI and technology Israeli VC. With their expertise and help together with the proceeds we can scale our technology further and assist farmers all over the world.

Q: How would you describe Taranis in your own words?

A: Taranis has the unique ability to monitor all aspects of the field conditions in real time and sending an early warning for the farmer to protect his field. By protecting earlier than today the farmer is able to use cheaper chemicals and increase his yield. In today’s commodity prices even modest yield increases generate a major change in the farmer’s bottom line. Only by analyzing multiple layers at the same time it is possible to create these insights: aerial imagery, satellite imagery, sensor data, weather forecast, farmer practices (scouting+task management). Using deep learning on real events that happen crossed with data collected there Taranis insights become more accurate over time automatically.

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Q: How exactly do you combine modern technologies with agriculture?

A: Taranis is a precision agriculture intelligence platform that helps farmers monitor their fields, make informed decisions and then act on them.

Taranis uses deep learning on proprietary data sets that includes sub-mm aerial imagery, field sensors, satellite imagery, weather forecast and data from field scouting app to predict and prevent crop disease and pests losses. Helping farmers increase their yields and cut costs.

Taranis as a predictive analytics company is benefiting from a few major trends and tech revolutions:

  • Machine learning revolution, especially deep learning platforms and algorithms that enable image recognition.
  • Cloud computing with its performance, cost and availability.
  • Weather forecast algorithms – the availability of advanced global models and their fast paces evolution in the past 5 years thanks to better super-computers.
  • Satellite imagery – never before was there availability of daily global satellite coverage in multispectral imagery. Taranis can utilize that data and analyze for agriculture use.
  • IoT – Thanks to improved connectivity options, cheaper and more energy efficient hardware Taranis is able to deploy field sensors and still achieve significant ROI.

Taranis is the only company with access to the following data layers that are the cutting edge in their respective fields:

  • Aerial imagery – we have a patented technology to cover huge areas in an unprecedented resolution 0.5mm per pixel, compared to 5-25cm per pixel today – more than X 500 resolution.
  • Weather forecasting – we run our own proprietary model to predict field level weather patterns – 4km per pixel instead of current global models 26km per pixel.
  • Machine learning modeling – in order to be successful in machine learning you need the right team, right algorithms and the right data – both quality and quantity.

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Q: What are some of the key challenges you are helping your users to solve?

A: Today the agriculture industry loses over $220B on disease damages alone, and over $300B on disease and pests combined. Our solution can scalably add more and more predictive models to better manage these diseases and potentially generate a yield increase in that order of magnitude.

Q: What is your plan for the future?

A: We want to be the most influential player in digital agriculture especially around crop protection and anomaly detection also around fertilizers, weeds and more. I can already see how our aerial imagery platform has the capability to find pests, and in the future could be able to treat these issues on the spot in real time, using exact amount of chemical applications. In general we want to continue the Taranis spirit, no matter how complex the solution gets we want it to be easy to use by the farmers that do the real work and need simple tools so they can focus on their work.

Last Updated on May 27, 2017

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