Published On: Tue, Jun 15th, 2021

Top 5 Israeli Agtech Startups to Follow in 2021

Startup Nation is not just about computers.

Here are the 5 most important Israeli agtech startups to watch this year. They have all recently held successful fundraising rounds. Jewish Business News recommends that you keep an eye on them. Startup Nation is not just about cybersecurity or fintech, you know.

Israel has always been at the forefront of aggrotech since the early days of the first Zionist settlements. The country may now be known more as Startup Nation for all of its success in the high tech world. But until recently it was best known for its agricultural innovations. The pioneers of early Israel famously drained swamps, planted orange groves (oranges are not indigenous to the Middle East) and irrigated deserts to grow all sorts of crops. Israel was so successful at this that the country early on sent experts to help third world nations in Africa develop their own agriculture. Nowadays Israelis have combined their country’s history of agricultural innovation with its high tech innovation.

Startup Nation finds ways to deal with the world’s water and food production problems while offsetting the problems with animal waste and carbon emissions. A number of Israeli startups are moving forward in providing the technology necessary to give the world viable meat alternatives. Israeli startup The Mediterranean Food Lab develops natural plant-based flavor bases for the alternative meat sector.

Israeli firms also develop alternatives for just about every type of animal based food product, providing vegan versions of chicken eggs, beef and dairy products. But this is not just something for vegans. The worldwide production of animal and dairy products has been condemned for years as contributing to global warming and increased pollution. And there are also issues of animal cruelty to be considered.

Countless documentaries and news reports have shown how the waste left behind by all those chickens and cows cause pollution. The animals also release greenhouse gasses. And most of the dairy eggs is not even consumed in its natural form. They are used for anything from yogurts to junk food additives. And the countless chickens and cows spend their lives in factories with some never seeing the light of day.

Quality alternatives which taste just as good will not only be healthier for people to eat, but also have a much smaller environmental impact in their production over the real thing. They will also require much less energy to produce.

Nowadays Israelis have combined their country’s history of agricultural innovation with its high tech innovation. The country finds ways to deal with the world’s water and food production problems while offsetting the problems with animal waste and carbon emissions.

The world is getting hotter and suffering from drought more than ever. This has led to increased drilling for underground water sources, which in turn leaves soil less arable. Regional fresh water supplies are also becoming more brackish. As a result of all of this, every drop counts. So we begin our list with companies that work to help deal with drought and water shortages.

Utilis

Israeli startup Utilis calls itself a pioneer of satellite-based infrastructure intelligence. It basically uses satellites to detect underground sources of water. The company has raised $6 million from Beringea, a transatlantic venture capital firm, which will be used to accelerate the growth of its data-driven analytics enabling the detection of water leaks and infrastructure asset management.

Utilis was founded in 2013 by Lauren Guy, a scientist focused on atmospheric physics and dynamics studying the ability of space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to detect underground water on Mars. The patented algorithm developed through this research has underpinned the development of the Utilis solution, harnessing satellites to spot underground leaks in water supplies around the world. Utilis today has 40 employees across its offices in the USA, Israel, and the UK, led by Elly Perets, an experienced software entrepreneur, as CEO.


Utilis has scaled to apply its pioneering leak detection product to more than 400 projects worldwide, spanning more than 55 countries including the USA, Italy, UK, Chile, China and South Africa. In total, its analytics have verified 30,000 leaks enabling infrastructure and utilities firms to save more than 7,000 million gallons of water, 17,000 MWh of energy, and 11,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

SupPlant

SupPlant is an Israeli agtech startup offering precision agriculture hardware-software solutions. Supplant has brought in $10 million in a fundraising round co-led by Boresight Capital, Menomadin Foundation, Smart-Agro Fund, and Mivtah Shamir. The company will use the new funding to accelerate its sensor-less irrigation API product. SupPlant’s total funding to date comes to more than $19 million.

Supplant (PR Pic)

Founded in 2012, SupPlant is a software company that relies on in-field hardware to collect and generate valuable data. SupPlant is constantly developing and updating its sensors and transmission units in order to keep data accurately and continuously flowing into SupPlant’s system. Supplant declares its mission is to equip “Farmers and Agri-businesses managing their WATER CHALLENGES with the most relevant and powering actionable agronomic insights.” The company says that it does so by changing the basic concept of irrigation methods, based on the plant’s current necessities, our unique technology has proven to save water on global scales and improve productivity and yields.

Combining Big-Data accumulated over the years with real-time data collected from a vast variety of hardware sensors, expert agronomists and a unique algorithm, boasts Supplant, the company can provide high resolution, real-time and forecasted insights and irrigation commands for an accurate irrigation regime and practices, insuring healthy and robust harvests with the optimum water usage that builds their resilience through time.

Arugga
Arugga is an Israeli startup developing an autonomous robot for treating and monitoring individual plants in greenhouses. The company just completed a $4 million series A funding round led by Smart Agro, an agri-tech R&D partnership traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Founded in 2017, Arugga declares that it is the first company to develop a robot that successfully replicates bumblebee buzz pollination in a commercial tomato greenhouse. Arugga is developing an autonomous ground robot which will treat and monitor individual plants in the greenhouse. The robotic platform will support several modules: robotic pollination, non-contact pruning, pest & disease detection and yield prediction.

The startup says that its mechanical pollination module aims to replace the work of dwindling labor forces in countries where pollination is done manually. And it will also replace the work of bumblebees, the most widely used pollination solution, thus solving sensitivity to environmental conditions and pesticides, and preventing the spread of viruses.

Ilsar Truffles
Israeli startup Ilsar Truffles makes expensive black winter truffles. It does so using advanced biological technology. The company just raised $5 million in financing, led by AP Partners private equity fund, to help bring its Israeli truffles to the world.

The company was founded in 2011 by its chairman Yoel Givol, CEO Nimrod Tabenkin and CTO Tal Monchase. Ilsar Truffles says that it applies advanced natural agro-technologies, to realize its “challenging, long-term, step-by-step vision; becoming a major player in the world’s top-quality truffle production.” The company declares that this requires “passionate, committed, and talented teams, as well as visionary and patient investors, all working closely together to realize our goals every day.”

The company grows the truffles in the Golan Heights. It hopes to cultivate up to 165 acres of land there by the end of the year.

 

Redefine Meat  

Redefine Meat is one of a number of Israeli startups moving forward in providing the technology necessary to give the world viable meat alternatives. It does so by way of 3D printing technology. The company just raised $29 million in a Series A round of funding.

Established in 2018, Redefine Meat applies its proprietary 3D printing technology, meat digital modeling, and advanced food formulations to produce animal-free meat with the “appearance, texture and flavor of whole muscle meat.”

The company boasts that its sustainable plant-based meat products have a taste and mouthfeel that is indistinguishable from traditional animal meat. It uses plant-based ingredients and technology as opposed to animals, allowing for a “dramatically more efficient, sustainable, and moral way to produce meat without compromising on the experience.” Redefine Meat states that its alt-meat is 95% more sustainable, significantly healthier and costs less than beef.


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