Beewise, the climatech precision robotics company on a mission to save bees, today announced an $80 Million Series C funding round. This brings the company's total funding to over $120 million.
Using 24/7 monitoring and smart technology that increases pollination capacity and honey production, Beewise said its proprietary robotic beehive, the Beehome, automatically detects threats to a honeybee colony such as the presence of pests or pesticides, and it immediately defends against them.
Robots to save bees
Sacramento, Calif.-based Beewise said its robotic system responds to threats in real time and requires no human intervention.
In addition to protecting and defending, the company said it affirmatively helps honeybees thrive and flourish by reversing the trend of colony collapse. To help combat the detrimental effects of climate change on bees, Beehomes are thermally regulated and protect from fires, flooding, and Asian wasps (also known as “murder hornets”). They also provide enhanced feeding techniques for when forage (food supply) is not available to the bees.
Beewise cited U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that more than 30% of honeybee colonies are disappearing each year, a rate that is not only economically devastating to farmers but represents a severe risk to global food supplies. While various diseases, pests, and pesticides lead to colony collapse, no other factor has been more devastating to the bees than climate change, it said.
Beewise builds a lighter Beehome
Beewise said it can reduce bee mortality by 80%, resulting in increased yields of at least 50% while eliminating approximately 90% of manual labor when compared to traditional beehives.
The company currently manages more than 7 billion bees, which equates to 25,000 acres of pollinated crops. Through the Beehome device, Beewise said it has saved over 160 million bees over the course of the last 12 months.
The company also unveiled a new lighter-weight Beehome that increases hive mobility, enabling farmers to effortlessly care for millions of bees and ensure seasonal crop pollination. The newest Beehome iteration includes several new features:
- While the rest of the market treats pests such as Varroa mites with chemicals, Beehome uses a chemical-free, heat, and robotics approach to achieve 99.7% success rate
- Improved automated remote harvesting, feeding, and thermal regulation
- Optimization for mobility: 32% smaller and 30% lighter, making the Beehome 23% more cost-effective to transport
- A more efficient and effective feeding system, working faster and providing more food, which significantly increases bee colonies' survival rate over winter when food sources are scarce
- A harvesting system that takes 9% less time to harvest, which results in a 5%+ yield increase in honey production
- Stronger solar panels to render more power in less time, allowing smaller batteries and thus helping achieve the above mentioned results
Funding to help meet market demand
“With thousands of orders placed in the U.S. in just the last few months, and with this funding, Beewise will be able to meet incredible market demand through increased manufacturing, develop additional product iterations, and further improve pollination,” said Saar Safra, CEO of Beewise.
Daniel Aronovitz, principal at Insight Partners, said Beewise’s mission to preserve the globe’s honeybee population spoke to the market.
“Not only have we funded a company with a fantastic business model; it also addresses one of the biggest challenges our planet is facing,” he said. “We at Insight couldn't be more excited to lead the largest investment in an Israeli agtech company to date.”
The funding round was led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from Fortissimo Capital, Corner Ventures, lool ventures, Atooro Fund, Meitav Dash Investments Ltd., and Sanad Abu Dhabi.
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