Artificial intelligence spurs real-time scouting, say Taranis officials

Taranis officials say its technology leverages a database of more than 1 million threat species to crops.

Stumped about how to quickly diagnose a crop disease or insect that’s damaging your field? Artificial intelligence is one way to take the guesswork out of the diagnosis. 
 

Taranis is one firm that’s able to do it, say officials for the firm. Company officials say the firm’s proprietary AI2 SmartScout Solutions platform will usher in the first-of-its-kind outcome-based, broad-acre scouting tool.

“Until recently, growers have had to wait on time-consuming manual scouting to assess threats, formulate an action plan, and react. Our ag intelligence service takes out the guesswork and brings hyperlocal, real-time insights from the fields to your fingertips,” said Ofir Schlam, CEO and co-founder of Taranis, in a Taranis news release. “And we’re not stopping there. We have exciting programs in our pipeline which will completely change the reactive risk mitigation model of today, to an outcome-based approach informed by predictive threat thresholds and yield expectations.”

The firm has announced a closing of a $30 million global Round C funding. With Vertex Growth and Kuok Group’s Orion Fund (managed by K3 Ventures) taking the lead, Taranis has raised $60 million to date and plans a broadscale rollout of the company’s agronomic intelligence service. New investors in this round include strategic investor Hitachi Ventures as well as Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Micron Ventures, UMC Capital, La Maison, Mindset Ventures, iAngels, and Gal Yarden. Existing investors Vertex Ventures Israel, Viola, Finistere, and OurCrowd also continue their support.


High Resolution Images

Taranis’ proprietary AI2 SmartScout Solutions bring a new level of efficiency to the industry, capturing 0.3mm/pixel resolution images of fields from planes and drones at a speed of 100 acres in 6 minutes, say Taranis officials. With this technology, they generate precise, leaf-level diagnosis 20 times faster than the manual alternative, and with 20 times more data points scouted.

Beyond capturing crop needs with unmatched speed, AI2 SmartScout Solutions leverages a database of more than 1 million threat species to create accurate prescription plans to customize treatments and application rates, say Taranis officials. 

“The combination of high-definition imagery and intelligence has the potential to change the game for global agriculture,” said MX Kuok, managing director of K3 Ventures, in a Taranis news release. “Taranis’ best-in-class capabilities in identifying specific pests and diseases will not only help farmers stop crop damage earlier, it will help reduce crop protection applications. Both farmers and their customers stand to benefit from this promising technology.”

“The ag tech market will soon see consolidation around imagery with just a few strong players remaining. We firmly believe that Taranis will be leading the pack,” said Hock Chuan Tam, managing director of Vertex Growth, in a Taranis news release. “With Taranis’ support, growers, retailers, cooperatives, and crop consultants can detect, analyze, and treat crop issues at their earliest signs, taking preventive measures with unprecedented precision and gaining a higher degree of control over their crop yield than ever before. With Taranis, scouting will never be the same again.”

Taranis has partnerships with the leading retail, ag equipment, and crop protection companies, including John Deere, Syngenta, Nutrien, Climate Corp, and BASF. Taranis technology has scouted more than 2 million acres of commodity crops across the world, creating the industry’s most comprehensive knowledge base of crop threats.

“This latest round of funding solidifies Taranis as the agricultural intelligence leader and positions us well for breakout growth,” said Mike DiPaola, general manager of North America and vice president of global sales at Taranis, in a Taranis news release. “We provide the best technology in the industry and it defies traditional categorization. Growers deserve and will expect a greater level of quicker and more reliable crop services. Our portfolio of technologies will create more predictability and reliability for growers and providers, worldwide.”

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