Deere Leads $16 Million Investment In InnerPlant, Develops Technology Allowing Growers To Detect Plants’ Needs


The world is headed for a food shortage by 2050 as its population increases, so anything to make it easier for farmers to grow food will go a long way.

That’s what InnerPlant founder and CEO Shely Aronov is trying to do with her startup that uses plant physiology to gather loads of data to make farming more efficient and sustainable. Or more simply, uses sensing and satellite technologies so plants can “talk” to their growers.

Shely Aronov and Rod Kumimoto started the Davis, California-based company in 2018 and spent much of the past four years in R&D mode developing genetically engineered crops that give off early “signals,” for example, of when they are thirsty, have a pest attack or need nitrogen so farmers can act quickly.

Sponsored Content
What 5 Companies Are Doing in the Metaverse
Sponsored by NVIDIA
The metaverse brings endless opportunities to transform 3D workflows and experiences. Learn how five leading companies are using virtual worlds to boost their businesses.

And by knowing all of this before it becomes a crisis, InnerPlant helps farmers reduce the amount of chemical pesticides needed or harvests lost to pathogens, like fungal.

The company raised $5.65 million in a seed round in 2021, led by MS&AD Ventures, and is now back with $16 million in Series A funding. This time, Deere & Co. led the round and was joined by MS&AD Ventures, Bee Partners and UpWest.

The new investment gives InnerPlant $22 million in total funding to date as it prepares to launch its first soybean product, in 2024. In addition, the company will start launching satellites to speak to its sensors in 2023.

“We now have a really efficient process to develop soybean traits, and we’re now working on the first commercial product which is the fungal detection of soybean sensors,” Aronov told TechCrunch. “We should have that in field trials next year, and then a soft launch with our Inner Circle members.”

To read the entire article click here.