BeeHero executives are buzzing with excitement. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company recently announced that it has raised $42 million in funding during a recent Series B funding round. That brings its total amount raised to $64 million.
The company makes robotic pollination systems, or “smart hives,” that use artificial intelligence, IoT sensors, and data analytics to provide its customers with monitoring tools to help increase the productivity of their beehives. The company calls the whole system its “Precision Pollination as a Service Platform.”
“BeeHero’s mission is to deliver pollination accountability for commercial crop growers, by leveraging big data analytics and machine learning to help them mitigate pollination risk. Thus allowing them to focus on producing more food, securely, and sustainably,” said Omer Davidi, CEO of BeeHero.
BeeHero said it will use the funding for research and development to help it develop its “Sustainable Agriculture Ecosystem” and address the issue of global food security.
“We have seen firsthand,” Davidi added, “the challenges our growers face from insufficient and inadequate pollination. To offset this, more and more farmers are adopting new technologies to meet the nutritional needs of our growing population. Our Precision Pollination as a Service Platform is a crucial tool farmers can rely on to improve their crop yields.”
As the earth’s human population increases to 10 billion, more food will need to be made than has been produced in the past 10,000 years combined, according to BeeHero.
“To accomplish this will require a 70% increase in the global food supply,” BeeHero said. “Already nearing the limits of available arable land, with only a modest 4% increase in acreage available over the next 30 years, this increase in productivity must therefore come from improved yield.”
BeeHero added the issue gets compounded when you take into consideration the global decline of bee populations, which account for 75% of the world’s crops.
“BeeHero’s research into bee health and welfare and managed pollination play a pivotal role in addressing this problem,” it said.
BeeHero said its customers include growers, beekeepers, agronomists, and agriculture retailers in the United States. It said it has also begun expanding into Australia, Europe, South Africa, and South America.
It has a partnership with the USDA, which it said it made “to combat the spread of Vespa Mandarina (commonly known as the Northern Giant Hornet.)”
Investors see promise in robotic beehive technology
Convent Capital was the lead inventor during the recent founding round and was joined by General Mills, Cibus Capital (formerly ADM Capital), Rabobank, MS&AD, Firstime, J-Ventures, Plug&Play, iAngels, Gaingels, UpWest, and more.
“BeeHero is bringing breakthrough innovation to an essential but often overlooked part of the food ecosystem, pollinators,” said Johnny Tran, managing director for 301 INC General Mills. “As an industry, we need innovation in all parts of the value chain, and BeeHero is using data to reimagine the classically analogue connection between growers, beekeepers, and bees. At 301 INC, we exist to elevate founders who are building the food system of tomorrow, and we are proud to support BeeHero’s efforts to build pollination transparency, efficiency, and resiliency through technology.”
“We are thrilled to support BeeHero as they continue to rapidly scale their precision pollination services. BeeHero is the perfect example of how technology can bring value to all stakeholders in an agricultural ecosystem, supporting bees, beekeepers and farmers and ultimately delivering more sustainable and healthier foods to consumers.” said Alastair Cooper, head of venture at Cibus Capital