An Update from our CEO, Shely Aronov:

InnerPlant $16M Series A Led by John Deere to Build the Future of Farming

September 19, 2022

Today is an exciting day for InnerPlant as we announce our $16M Series A funding round led by John Deere with participation from the unflagging supporters of our seed round, MS&AD Ventures, Bee Partners, and UpWest.

It’s a huge day for our future but I can’t help but think about how we started out. Indeed, when people hear about InnerPlant for the first time they often ask me “how did you come up with this idea?”

It started with an invention by two Tel Aviv University Professors, Yosi Shacham and Adi Avni. I was looking for my next endeavor knowing only 2 things; I want to work in ag and I want a transformational technology that will have a huge positive impact on the world. Yosi and Adi introduced me to biosensors. My next step was obvious – I went to talk to farmers. Their feedback was clear from day one and became the ethos for InnerPlant – No additional work, no changes to operations, scalable, and affordable.

Shortly after that, I met Rod Kumimoto, a brilliant molecular biologist who became my co-founder.  With Rod on board, I learned that biosensors have been used in molecular biology labs for decades. The next chapter was about finding a way to detect them outside in broad daylight to make them scalable for agriculture. Nick Koshnick, an early advisor and investor, introduced us to Solar Induced Fluorescence (SIF), the game-changing technology we needed to scale biosensors.

Then Rod and I met Ari Kornfeld, one of the pioneers of SIF. Ari was our purple squirrel. He is an ecophysiologist, one of a few dozen experts in SIF, and in one of his previous careers, an AI engineer that tinkered with optical equipment. He was our detection guru. Months after Ari joined we successfully proved our technology in a small field trial – and from there we were off to the races.

Another watershed moment was meeting Ben Chostner, from Blue River over dinner. His company was just acquired by John Deere. Ben told me about their See and Spray technology and I told him about our biosensors, we both immediately knew this was the future. Since then it was my dream to work with Deere, the market leader in precision ag and now that dream is a reality.

Since those days our team has grown to 18 full-time people, we raised seed capital from Bee Partners, UpWest, MS&AD, and TAU Ventures. Today we are embarking on an exciting journey with Deere. But one thing has never changed – we are fearless and customer driven and we fully intend to change the status quo by implementing science fiction-like technology and never forgetting that our customers are our North star.

InnerPlant was only possible due to the hard work and determination of Rod Kumimoto, Ari Kornfeld, Reza Bloomer, Randy Shultz, Santiago Freyria, and the rest of our incredible team as well as our farmers at InnerCircle! We are also lucky to have our early investors’ support Garrett Goldberg, Kira Noodleman, Gil Ben Artzi, Shuly Galili, Jon Soberg, Marta Bulaich, and Nimrod Cohen.

A special thanks to Than Hartsock, Director of Corn & Soybean Production Systems at John Deere,  truly one of the most visionary people in ag. Than understood the potential of smart crops communicating to smart equipment in minutes. I’m so excited to be working together.

The impact of this news reaches well beyond today as it brings into focus the larger picture of how data-driven, plant-by-plant management will reshape large-scale agriculture and drive efficiency, higher yields, and greater sustainability.

Studies show that farmers waste over 30% of chemical pesticides and fertilizers worldwide because of overapplication while routinely losing up to 20% of their harvests to pathogens. To prevent waste and losses farmers need early detection and responsive plant-specific interventions, however, until now that wasn’t possible.

InnerPlant and John Deere bring together early detection and early action technologies needed to deliver the promised future of plant-level farming. InnerPlant crops signal stresses at the cellular level. These signals are collected by satellites to provide large-scale affordable next-gen scouting tools. Deere’s equipment completes the chain by scanning each plant and acting based on their individual needs.

The future of ag is machinery, data, and seeds replacing chemistry.

There’s still a lot of work to do as we gear up for the soft launch of our InnerSoy product in 2024 but today’s announcement is a critical milestone and we’re grateful to all of our investors, partners, and farmers who’ve joined us on this journey.

Shely Aronov