Precision agriculture company Augmenta is the latest agtech business to join the Dutch investment firm’s portfolio
Photo as seen on Pymwymic’s website

Dutch investment firm Pymwymic has joined the Series A funding round of Augmenta, a precision agriculture company with a solution to reduce the amount of chemicals needed in farms.

The Augmenta funding round closed at $8 million with the participation of tractor manufacturer CNH Industrial, Marathon Venture Capital and The Hardware Club.

Rogier Pieterse, Pymwymic managing director, said: “Augmenta will reduce the chemical load in the soils, improve the quality of the produce and at the same time reduce costs – the perfect example that good business models combine both profit while having a positive impact on our planet.”

Pymwymic said that with this investment, its Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund I is complete. The fund has invested in nine companies.

The Dutch investment firm now prepares to launch Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II, focused on supporting the transition of the food system from farm to fork.

Augmenta: Data-driven precision agriculture

Chief executive George Varvarelis and Dimitris Evangelopoulos co-founded Augmenta in 2018 with the mission to augment the capacity of arable land and help feed the growing world sustainably. The company is currently headquartered in Paris.

The Augmenta system is mounted on the roof of any tractor and analyses the health of the field while being on the move. It scans details of the field in real-time, such as the amount of foliage and damaged or flooded parts.

Building on the data it gathers, the system can apply the exact dosage needed for each spot of land, in contrast to the traditional ‘blanket coverage’ approach. As such, waste is significantly reduced, the amount of input needed are kept down while crop potential is maximised.

Augmenta co-founder Dimitris Evangelopoulos. Photo as seen on the company’s Facebook page

“This investment round will help us expand our distribution network around the world and accelerate our ambitious R&D plans” said Varvarelis. “We are excited to collaborate with a top tier OEM like CNH Industrial and a prominent impact investor like Pymwymic. They share our vision of ‘Green Technology without Silos’ and are determined to help us provide solutions to empower all farmers, regardless of the size of their land or their preferred tractor brand.”

Moten Schmidt from CNH Industrial, concurred: “This collaboration will provide CNH Industrial’s customers with accelerated access to productivity-enhancing precision automation technologies, alongside significant sustainability benefits.”

High yields

Since the ‘Green Revolution’, agriculture yields have increased substantially by adding chemical inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides and fungicides. While this has helped tremendously to feed a growing population, it has also led to massively degraded soils and severely harmed biodiversity.

Current practices cannot be sustained, hence innovative companies such as Augmenta have entered the market, promoting a different way of producing our food, with less use of chemical inputs.

The Augmenta system has been utilised on hundreds of fields across 16 countries around the world. The company reported that average input reductions for broad acre crops observed to date are 9% for nitrogen, 20% for growth plant regulator (PGR), and 15% for harvest aids compared to traditional practices, with an average yield increase of 2%.

The co-founders said: “This investment round will help us expand our distribution network around the world and accelerate our ambitious R&D plans.”

Date published: 26 March 2021

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