Gamaya, provider of the world’s most advanced solution for large-scale diagnostics of farmland using hyperspectral imaging and artificial intelligence, announced it has raised 3.2 Million in a series A financing round. Investors include Sandoz Foundation, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman of Nestle), Seed4Equity (social-impact investment fund), as well as well-established Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners. All investors in this Series A round are committed to the vision of sustainable future of agricultural industry.
Gamaya responds to the need to feed 10bn people by providing a unique solution to boost the efficiency of industrial agricultural production. The company utilises a unique constellation of patented hyperspectral imaging technology, drone-based deployment and artificial intelligence to empower industrial farming businesses with unprecedented level of situational awareness, allowing for significant cost savings, as well as improvement of quality and quantity of yield. Examples of the information products include early alerts for disease, pests and weeds, optimum rates of application for fertilisers, as well as prediction of yield. Currently, Gamaya provides a solution for soybean, corn and sugarcane growers.
“Before we started working with Gamaya, there was no cost-effective way to for us to measure the impact of nematodes, outbreaks of weed and soil deficiencies during the crop cycle”, noted Nicolas Landolt of Agricert, a farm based in Brazil. “We are now able to accurately see where those problems are occurring and make real-time decisions that ensure that those problems are looked after. With a simple drone flight, Gamaya’s technology allows Agricert to maximize profitability through production cost reductions and increase in overall yield.”
“We believe food production to be one of the main challenges facing humanity in the future. Population growth, climate change, reduced water availability and environmental concerns will force food producers to become more and more efficient with less and less resources and Gamaya’s technology could in our view become part of the solution,” said Andres Brabeck-Letmathe, Managing Director of Glasshouse SA.
The Gamaya system includes a drone-mounted hyperspectral camera, which is able to detect what the human eye cannot and provides much more valuable information than any other competitive technologies. The camera is integrated with an analytical platform that automatically translates the data into actionable information for farmers using a simple, scalable and cost effective methodology. Agronomy-driven information are delivered in a form of action maps and recommendations, such as weed or disease maps, so that a farmer can easily take action in the field. The action maps are integrated into existing farm management platforms, and can be easily relayed to field machinery for the necessary treatment, such as the spraying of chemicals, or the distribution of fertilisers.
“There is a clear imperative to address the food challenge in a sustainable manner. Consuming better also requires to produce better at all level of the food value chain,” said Taha Ben Mrad, founder and CEO of Seed4equity. “Gamaya has all the ingredients to become an instrumental actor of this change by combining state of the art technological building blocks (data, software and hardware) at the service of the Mother Nature. Farmers and further actors of this ecosystem will perceive significant qualitative and quantitative benefits.”
Gamaya is a spin-off of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that was founded in 2015. The company has won numerous prestigious awards in Switzerland and Europe, including Venture Kick; Venture: Companies for tomorrow; Swisscom Startup Challenge and CloudEO Copernicus Masters among others. Gamaya has been featured by Forbes as one of the 4 European AgTech startups with a potential to become a $1 billion dollar company. The underlying technology was developed as part of a sequence of international environmental research projects, carried out by a team of world-class scientists and technology experts, particularly, the Trans-Eurasian Flight Leman-Baikal project sponsored by the prominent Swiss explorer and philanthropist Dr. Frederik Paulsen.
“Today, we are living in a society that is fully reliant on unsustainable consumption of fossil fuels, soil and water in order to produce food. Our future is dependent on whether we will be able to leverage technology and innovation in order to dramatically improve the efficiency of our food production methodology,” says Gamaya CEO Yosef Akhtman. “Our solution helps to increase production efficiency by providing farmers with full situational awareness of their farmland and crops.”