Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures announced Friday that it has invested into Swiss-Italian agri-tech startup xFarm Technologies. The deal represents Emerald’s first foray into the dynamic market for artificial intelligence (AI)-driven farming solutions, through an innovative disruptor that is supporting production on over 100,000 farms around the world.
xFarm Technologies, which raised €17 million in a Series B round that was led by Swisscom Ventures, makes artificial intelligence-enabled platforms that enhance sustainability performance, including livestock management and the optimization of agricultural inputs such as water, fertilizers and plant protection products. This new round of funding will help the company develop more effective solutions for farming challenges in an era of climate change.
The company aims to expand internationally, including into the Americas, and add 20 new hires to its team of 60 by the end of this year. This will enable it to ramp up its existing collaboration with more than 70 leading players in the agriculture supply chain, including top food companies and machinery manufacturing groups.
Emerald has several existing investments in food and agriculture companies at various points in the value chain, including Israeli milk protein disruptor Imagindairy, alternative protein makers Future Meat and Meeat, and crop gene specialists Tropic Biosciences.
“Farming is an incredibly challenging space that must become more efficient in order to meet the needs of an increasingly hungry world,” says Gina Domanig, Emerald Managing Partner. “We are excited to back xFarm Technologies in its mission to make agriculture greener, more sustainable and more profitable for farmers.”
“We are proud to have secured this Series B round and to have Swisscom Ventures, Emerald and all the other investors by our side,” says xFarm Technologies CEO Matteo Vanotti. “We share a vision to innovate agriculture. xFarm Technologies aims to be a key player in this fast-evolving market to improve the lives of millions of farmers through digitalization, seeking greater efficiency and sustainability.”