Sumitomo acquires equity stake in Israeli agritech startup Taranis

Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited (collectively referred to as the Sumitomo Corporation Group) have acquired an equity stake in A.A.A Taranis Visual, an Israeli agritech company.

Throughout the world, and on a daily basis, farmers are faced with the risk of declines in yields as a result of natural disaster (extreme weather, infectious diseases, harmful insects, etc.). It is said that infectious diseases and harmful insects alone result in losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Furthermore, with climate-change risk becoming more evident, farmers around the world are increasingly required to be prepared for unexpected natural disasters.

Taranis is a startup company in the agritech sector that was founded in 2014. It provides farmers with a precision-agriculture intelligence platform, and offers risk-prediction/prevention solutions for crop cultivation. Taranis uses remote sensing performed by a camera loaded on a plane that flies over the farmland, and possesses innovative technology for high-speed acquisition and analysis of ultra-high-definition images (0.5mm/pixel). It also utilizes proprietary biological data and deep-learning technology for the integrated analysis of non-image data (weather, soil data, etc.), allowing it to identify crop stress levels in real time, and even predict outbreaks of infectious diseases and propose measures for tackling them. The digital crop doctor service involves the provision of advice based on information required by farmers for decision-making (germination status, weed proliferation, presence of harmful insects, and damage caused by infectious diseases or harmful insects), which improves crop yields by as much as 7.5%. The service has already been launched in some of the world’s major crop-producing regions, such as North and South America, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Sumitomo Corporation Group already operates agriculture-related businesses in 44 countries worldwide. These businesses encompass fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery, and food products. By collaborating with Taranis, Sumitomo expects to enhance the sophistication of these existing businesses. The acquisition will also help accelerate the growth of Taranis’s business.

Going forward, Sumitomo says that they intend to continue identifying changes in the needs of society and contributing to the development of industry across the globe by investing in companies with innovative technology.