Semios, a provider of real-time agricultural information and precision pest management tools, has closed an $8 million financing with private equity individuals from the Agtech community, with assistance from Haywood Securities. Since its founding in 2010, the company has grown to be the largest worldwide network of sensors and control devices in specialty crops, providing real-time insights into risks associated with weather, pests, disease, frost and irrigation. The business model is set up on a software-as-a-service basis.
Combining remote access to real-time field conditions and acre-by-acre metered delivery of inputs is the cornerstone of precision agriculture. Semios enables improved deployment of pheromones, frost prevention and optimization of irrigation schedules. These types of services help reduce risks, protect valuable crops and improve grower profitability.
Michael Gilbert, founder and CEO of Semios says, “We are at a pivotal point in the company’s growth with more than 50,000 sensors deployed and more than 10,000 acres under management. Adoption of our platform is accelerating and our growers are asking for more
features and services. With this new level of investor expertise and confidence, we’ll be able to expand the platform and accelerate the growth of our business.”
The Semios team is adding new services including novel aerosol pheromone formulas to target more orchard and vineyard pests. Because the health of bees and other beneficial insect species are under environmental pressure, non-toxic and species-specific pheromone products are becoming more important alternatives to insecticides.
Other enhancements to the platform include improved big data analytics to predict the risk of frost inversions, diseases and non-optimized irrigation.
The Canadian government is also investing nearly a million dollars ($949,322) with SemiosBio. Announcing the funding in mid-April, the federal ag minister Lawrence MacAulay says the project will focus specifically on fire blight in apples, and downy and powdery mildews in grapes, with field testing across Canada. The investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program.
Source: News release from Semios and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada