The Trendlines Group's fund, Trendlines Agrifood Fund, has made its third investment, investing in Israeli agri start-up Saturas Ltd.
Trendlines said its fund invested alongside US-Israeli venture capital firm Gefen Capital and China-based fertiliser additives company Hubei Forbon Technology Co. Ltd., both of whom had made earlier investments in Saturas.
This round, being Series B, attracted US$3 million in funding, following on the Series A funding of US$4 million two years ago, according to AgFunderNews.
Founded in 2013 in the Trendlines Group’s agrifood incubator, Saturas has developed an advanced decision support system for precision, automatic irrigation based on its miniature stem-water potential (SWP) sensor.
Here's how it works:
|The Stem Water Potential sensing system automatically collects accurate data using a minimal number of sensors per hectare (1 – 2 sensors).
It transmits the processed data to the central automated irrigation control system.
The technology tailors irrigation to real-time water needs of the crop, resulting in more efficient water use and increased yields, fruit size and sugar content (e.g., vineyards).
Embedding the sensor into the trunk eliminates the common problem of damage to sensors placed in the soil or on the tree/vine.
With Saturas’ system, farmers obtain continuous and reliable information, remotely from the field, without the need to make frequent trips to check the field manually.
The commercialization-stage company has expanded sales and operations in the US through its active subsidiary in California, as well as in Europe, South America
|Trendlines Agrifood Fund's CEO, Dr Nitza Kardish (photo), commented, “One of the crucial goals of food production today is to increase crop yields without increasing inputs. Saturas offers farmers an accurate water measurement system, unparalleled in the market, that contributes significantly to achieving this important target.
"Saving water, a scarce resource worldwide, is of paramount importance. Accurate and timely irrigation produces higher quality yields, of no less importance to the farmers. We are delighted to be part of this innovative company which is so relevant to the needs of the agrifood world today.”
Saturas CEO Anat Halgoa remarked, “We are extremely pleased to complete this investment stage despite the very uncertain times in the COVID-19 period. Following our commercial expansion in the US, Europe, South America and China, this investment enables further market and sales expansion, and development of our production capabilities. We are working to complete the full funding round by the end of the year.”
Trendlines is an innovation commercialization company that invents, discovers, invests in, and incubates innovation-based medical and agrifood technologies to fulfill its mission to improve the human condition. As intensely hands-on investors, Trendlines is involved in all aspects of its portfolio companies from technology development to business building. Trendlines’ shares are traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX: 42T) and in the United States as an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) on the OTCQX (OTCQX: TRNLY).