YOKNEAM, Israel, Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MetoMotion, a developer of advanced, intelligent robotic systems to help growers operate farms of the future, announced that it has completed an investment round of $5 million led by Ridder, a leading greenhouse technology company, and Navus Ventures, the family investment office of Lely, investing in unique high-tech and sustainable start-ups and scale-ups that drive the transitions in food and energy. Sirius VC also participated in the round. The funds will be used for finalizing R&D activities, setting up production and marketing activities and launching the commercial product.
Greenhouse labor costs comprise up to 50% of total production costs. Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, greenhouse growers faced critical labor problems, namely increasing labor shortages and a challenge to retain skilled workers, which contribute to economic damage and raise risks to yields. MetoMotion was established to leverage technology to solve these challenges. Greenhouse equipment companies are seeking technological developments that expand their product offerings and the demand for sustainable vegetable harvesting all year round.
MetoMotion’s GRoW robot brings state-of-the-art technology into the greenhouse, making use of latest Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based computing for 3D perception. Specially designed, flexible motion control and path-planning algorithms give the robot precise motion between plants and a unique design that fits the modern greenhouse environment. Dual arms enable harvesting on both sides of the greenhouse row.
The MetoMotion platform automatically collects information during harvesting providing valuable insights, such as yield forecasts and yield distribution analyses, for improved crop management. The GRoW robot packs the crops into standard industry boxes for easy and seamless integration with existing production procedures. The robot’s capabilities include adapting its robotic technology to other labor-intensive greenhouse tasks such as pruning, pollination, de-leafing and data collection for cultivation analysis.
Commenting on the investment, MetoMotion CEO Adi Nir said, “This investment by Ridder and Navus is an exciting development for MetoMotion. Beyond the funding, our investors bring a combination of rich knowledge, experience and understanding of the greenhouse and ag robotics industry that provides us with an unparalleled partnership in launching a system that is a great match for market needs and truly helps growers solve pressing issues in greenhouse farming.”
Joep Van den Bosch, Chief Innovation Officer at Ridder underlines the importance of the partnership with MetoMotion. “Growers have to do more with less. Automating labor is a key component in that. By adding greenhouse robotics to our Ridder product portfolio, we lower the threshold for growers to step into the robotic age and integrate the generated data with all other Ridder systems in the greenhouse environment.”
MetoMotion has developed advanced, intelligent robotic systems to help growers operate the farms of the future. The company aims to transform indoor farming production in modern greenhouses through its smart robotics platform that enables farmers and growers to solve labor shortages, reduce costs and improve yields. MetoMotion was established in 2016 as a portfolio company of The Trendlines Group Ltd. (SGX: 42T) (OTCQX: TRNLY) with support from the Israel Innovation Authority and with investment from the Technion DRIVE Accelerator. MetoMotion received a €2 million grant from the European Commission in 2019.