Trapview, which uses artificial intelligence to reduce pesticide use, has secured backing from investors including the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, Demeter and Pymwymic.
Trapview, a pesticide digital monitoring solution developed by Slovenian firm EFOS, has announced it has successfully closed a €10m Series B financing, led by the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF). Other backers include Paris-based venture capital firm Demeter and Amsterdam-based impact investing cooperative Pymwymic.
The fresh investment will enable Trapview to commercialise its digital insect monitoring and forecasting products faster. The company says it operates in more than 40 countries and its technology has been used for various crops, including tomatoes in Brazil, almonds in California, vines in Italy and salad greens in France and Spain.
While pesticides can contribute to global food security by improving crop yields, a number of reports have stressed this needs to be balanced against their potential to cause harm to human health and the broader environment, given evidence that some pesticides cause long-term severe negative effects.
The attraction for impact investors of Trapview’s approach is that by giving farmers more accurate information on pest distribution on their land, the technology enables them to cut down on pesticide use by targeting it only where it is needed, rather than blanket spraying whole crops. As a result, they should be able to work more sustainably and efficiently, as well as cutting their production costs through reduced pesticide usage. The investment also supports the EU’s Green Deal target of reducing pesticide usage on farms by 50% by 2030.
Trapview works by sending real-time data from automated pest traps to farmers on the pest situation in their fields. This is backed by artificial intelligence (AI)-based software that predicts where pesticides should be deployed.
Trapview says it can monitor more than 50 insect species, making its solutions suitable for a wide range of farmers and others involved in agriculture. The company says it currently owns the largest database of pest data and predictive algorithms in the world.
A number of AI-driven pest monitoring solutions have been developed around the world, but Stéphane Roussel, a partner at ECBF, said he regards Trapdoor’s solution as the leading platform for remote insect monitoring and forecasting.
“In recent years, despite COVID, Trapview has gained significant momentum with farmers and value chain partners in Latin America, Europe and other regions. Our investment will give Trapview the resources to accelerate international expansion and meet the growing demand for its automated traps and software solutions,” he said
The ECBF is a Bonn-based fund supporting the transition from a fossil-based to a circular, bio-based economy. It invests growth capital in entrepreneurs in the sector and aims to catalyse private and public investor investment in late-stage bioeconomy companies, The fund has a total size of €300m, of which €100m comes from the European Investment Bank.
This latest round of funding for Trapdoor adds to previous investment, including €3.7m via a Series A2 round. from Pymwymic, Japan’s Kubota Corporation and Italian-based impact investor, Oltre Ventures, announced in September 2020.