Gamaya closes CHF 3.2 Million Series A to boost the deployment of advanced crop analytics services
Lausanne, Switzerland – May 23, 2016 – Gamaya, provider of the world’s most advanced solution for large-scale diagnostics of farmland using hyperspectral imaging and artificial intelligence, announced it has raised 3.2 Million in a series A financing round. Investors include Sandoz Foundation, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman of Nestle), Seed4Equity (social-impact investment fund), as well as well-established Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners. All investors in this Series A round are committed to the vision of sustainable future of agricultural industry.
Gamaya responds to the need to feed 10bn people by providing a unique solution to boost the efficiency of industrial agricultural production. The company utilises a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence to empower industrial farming businesses with unprecedented level of situational awareness, allowing for significant cost savings, as well as improvement of quality and quantity of yield. Examples of the information products include early alerts for disease, pests and weeds, optimum rates of application for fertilisers, as well as prediction of yield. Currently, Gamaya provides a solution for soybean, corn and sugarcane growers.
“Before we started working with Gamaya, there was no cost-effective way to for us to measure the impact of nematodes, outbreaks of weed and soil deficiencies during the crop cycle”, noted Nicolas Landolt of Agricert, a farm based in Brazil. “We are now able to accurately see where those problems are occurring and make real-time decisions that ensure that those problems are looked after. With a simple drone flight, Gamaya’s technology allows Agricert to maximize profitability through production cost reductions and increase in overall yield.”
“We believe food production to be one of the main challenges facing humanity in the future. Population growth, climate change, reduced water availability and environmental concerns will force food producers to become more and more efficient with less and less resources and Gamaya’s technology could in our view become part of the solution,” said Andres Brabeck-Letmathe, Managing Director of Glasshouse SA.
The Gamaya system includes a drone-mounted hyperspectral camera, which is able to detect what the human eye cannot and provides much more valuable information than any other competitive technologies. The camera is integrated with an analytical platform that automatically translates the data into actionable information for farmers using a simple, scalable and cost effective methodology. Agronomy-driven information are delivered in a form of action maps and recommendations, such as weed or disease maps, so that a farmer can easily take action in the field. The action maps are integrated into existing farm management platforms, and can be easily relayed to field machinery for the necessary treatment, such as the spraying of chemicals, or the distribution of fertilisers.
“There is a clear imperative to address the food challenge in a sustainable manner. Consuming better also requires to produce better at all level of the food value chain,” said Taha Ben Mrad, founder and CEO of Seed4equity. “Gamaya has all the ingredients to become an instrumental actor of this change by combining state of the art technological building blocks (data, software and hardware) at the service of the Mother Nature. Farmers and further actors of this ecosystem will perceive significant qualitative and quantitative benefits.”
Gamaya is a spin-off of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that was founded in 2015. The company has won numerous prestigious awards in Switzerland and Europe, including Venture Kick; Venture: Companies for tomorrow; Swisscom Startup Challenge and CloudEO Copernicus Masters among others. Gamaya has been featured by Forbes as one of the 4 European AgTech startups with a potential to become a $1 billion dollar company. The underlying technology was developed as part of a sequence of international environmental research projects, carried out by a team of world-class scientists and technology experts, particularly, the Trans-Eurasian Flight Leman-Baikal project sponsored by the prominent Swiss explorer and philanthropist Dr. Frederik Paulsen.
“Today, we are living in a society that is fully reliant on unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels, soil and water in order to produce food. Our future is dependent on whether we will be able to leverage technology and innovation in order to dramatically improve the efficiency of our food production methodology,” says Gamaya CEO Yosef Akhtman. “Our solution helps to increase production efficiency by providing farmers with full situational awareness of their farmland and crops.”
Gamaya provides the world’s most advanced solution for diagnostics of farmland using a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence. Gamaya farmland analytics solution improves production efficiency and risk management by facilitating optimised usage of chemicals and fertilisers, as well as reducing disease and weed-related losses.
About Sandoz Foundation
The Sandoz Family Foundation was established in 1964 by Edouard-Marcel Sandoz, the son of the founder of Sandoz SA of Basel (now Novartis SA). The aim of the Foundation is to encourage entrepreneurial commitment through long-term holdings in companies in a variety of sectors, including pharma, agribusiness and other. The Foundation is presided over by Pierre Landolt, and the management includes also Gabriel Prêtre. Its investments are directed at a strategic objective concerned with preserving high quality and protecting fundamental social values. Visit sandozfondation.ch to learn more.
The Glasshouse SA manages Peter Brabeck-Letmathe’s family office. Until now it mainly dealt with Mr and Mrs. Brabeck-Letmathe’s property development business and investments. It has recently decided to diversify its range of activities with a first investment in Swiss Infrastructure funds. Gamaya SA is the company’s second investment outside the property sector.
Seed4equity is a Swiss venture fund, that was created by successful serial entrepreneur Taha Ben Mrad, founder of Simalaya Holding. The fund is dedicated to social impact investments and includes investments in toktoktok, The Agile factory, Cosseco, Coupains Productions, spooklight, and other prominent startups. Visit seed4equity.com to lean more.
About VI Partners
VI Partners is a leading Swiss venture capital firm, that was established by McKinsey & Company and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ) in 2001. VI is an evergreen fund with a paid in capital of CHF 101m. The investors are 10 Swiss blue-chip companies from industry and finance. Visit vipartners.ch to learn more.
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