Dec 7, 2020iUNU raises $7M for its LUNA platform use by commercial greenhouses
Seattle, Washington-based iUNU (www.iunu.com), an industrial computer vision company providing precision agriculture solutions to indoor growers, has raised $7 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing led by S2G Ventures and Ceres Partners with participation from Serra Ventures.
According to a news release, iUNU is transforming the way indoor growers do business by harnessing the power of computer vision through its product offering, LUNA. The LUNA platform delivers a system of mobile and fixed cameras with high definition imaging and environmental sensors that measure and record everything down to the real-time growth rate of each plant. The software combines computer vision and machine learning technologies to continuously build detailed models of individual plants, unique among millions, throughout the day.
LUNA detects even the most minute changes in health of individual plants, giving growers the precise knowledge they need for proactive management. LUNA uses this insight to drive margin for growers through crop monitoring/forecasting, space utilization, and labor planning – while giving increased pricing leverage to the sales team.
“The LUNA system continues to attract greenhouse growers as a leading comprehensive greenhouse management platform”, said Cristina Rohr, Principal at S2G Ventures. “We are delighted to partner with iUNU to support the company’s continued growth and long-term plans to make indoor growing operations more profitable and efficient.”
“The iUNU team has translated their long experience in greenhouses into an exciting computer vision platform powered by machine learning which empowers growers with new tools and capabilities to see, predict and take action”, said Walter Robb, Executive-in-Resident at S2G Ventures, “Both the magic and the mystery of plants growing comes alive in and through LUNA. It’s advanced technology supports the optimization of yield, labor and product quality, ultimately providing the end customer both superior processes and product while improving the profitability for growers.”
Greenhouse production is experiencing significant growth. In North America, the greenhouse fruit and vegetable market is growing more than 20 percent annually. As greenhouses expand their square footage to meet demand, however, labor shortages and rising labor costs pose challenges for growers. Technologies to facilitate grower productivity have become essential.
“Our communities are under-greenhoused. Rising consumer demand is accelerating the growth of the greenhouse industry, but the massive shortage of both growers and manual labor requires a scalable machine vision solution to further the supply” said Adam Greenberg, CEO and Founder of iUNU. “We are proud to partner with S2G Ventures and Ceres Partners, as both firms share a passion for and expertise in agriculture investing, and support our vision to empower growers to do more with less.”
The LUNA system surpassed one billion square feet of greenhouse analysis in 2019. As a result, achieving and desired outcomes for customers has become both more precise and faster. The LUNA system has the most extensive knowledge from imaging on the market. While each grower using the LUNA platform owns their own imagery, the constant growth of the volume of imaging drives the machine learning and value the system provides. LUNA learns from reading imagery, just as people do from reading a book, providing an immeasurable depth of experience and knowledge to LUNA’s customers.
“The development and implementation of LUNA is at the forefront of technological solutions for the agricultural community,” said Perry Vieth, CEO of Ceres Partners. “We realize cutting-edge technologies will play an outsized role in the efficiency and scaling of greenhouses to meet demand, and we are proud to partner with Adam and his team to help bring LUNA to a wider market.”
Ms. Rohr will join the Board of Directors at iUNU, and Andrew Howell, Vice President at Ceres Partners, will become a Board Observer.
Founded in 2013, iUNU (“you knew”) is an industrial computer vision company headquartered in Seattle, with offices in San Francisco and San Diego. Connecting plants, facilities, and people through a single interface, LUNA turns commercial greenhouses into precise, predictable, demand-based manufacturers. An AI born in the heart of Seattle; trained in Silicon Valley and the greenhouses of Skagit Valley Washington; and now accessible from everywhere. The team at iUNU looks forward to introducing you.
About S2G Ventures
S2G Ventures is a multi-stage venture fund investing across the food, agriculture, oceans and seafood markets. The fund’s mission is to catalyze innovation to meet consumer demands for healthy and sustainable food systems. S2G has identified sectors across the food system that are ripe for change, and is building a multi-stage portfolio including seed, venture and growth stage investments. Core areas of interest for S2G are agriculture, oceans, ingredients, infrastructure and logistics, IT and hardware, food safety and technology, retail and restaurants, and consumer brands.
About Ceres Partners
Ceres Partners is a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on food and agriculture. Ceres Partners manages two investment vehicles with distinct strategies and investment objectives: Ceres Farms, LLC which invests in U.S. farmland, and Ceres Food & Agriculture Opportunity Fund, which invests growth equity in emerging operating businesses in food and agriculture.
For more information on Ceres Partners, visit www.cerespartners.com.