Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) analytics platform Artemis has been acquired by iUNU (pronounced ‘you knew’), a Seattle-based startup building computer vision systems for greenhouses, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal marks iUNU’s second acquisition in as many months following its takeover of pest management consultancy CropWalk.
“Artemis is a stellar company with a strong team and product that is deployed across many crop varieties. We’re far better together than apart,” iUNU CEO Adam Greenberg said in a statement.
“We have long respected the work Artemis has done to streamline the greenhouse operations, the value they bring growers with their software, and the work they’ve done leading the market to elevate this industry.”
Artemis co-founder and CEO Allison Kopf, who’ll become iUNU’s chief marketing officer and head of data products as part of the deal, said that her startup’s buyer has done “an incredible job building advanced analytics solutions for the most critical element of your operation – the plants.”
“Artemis has done the same for the people and operations,” she continued. “By combining plants, people, and operations, we’re poised to scale the technologies underpinning the fastest growing segment of the agriculture industry – controlled environment
After the deal completes, the combined companies will explore opportunities to offer financing solutions to their CEA customers. The pair “have amassed datasets that help establish the risk profile of an operation, underwrite risk with more credibility, and finance the expansion of the industry by building more CEA operations to meet the market demand,” the statement said. According to Artemis, it has already assisted the lending of $150 million to its existing customers.
Kopf said that the entire Artemis team will join iUNU. “Our merger represents the first opportunity to access a completely AI-driven platform to manage all operations, including inventory tracking, production planning, yield forecasting, pest and disease management, food safety, and labor tracking,” she added.
Launching in 2015 as Agrilyst, Kopf’s Brooklyn-based company claims to be “the market-leading cultivation management platform” for commercial greenhouses and high tunnel farms. Its software-as-a-service platform allows indoor farmers to boost efficiency and profitability using workflow management tools, inventory tracking, and pest and nutrient management. Artemis’ most recent equity fundraise was its May 2019 Series A round, which saw it score $8 million from investors including Astanor Ventures, Talis Capital, iSelect Fund, and the State of New York’s Empire State Development Fund.
Founded in 2013, iUNU has developed a software-driven system called LUNA which uses a variety of fixed and moving cameras, along with environmental sensors, to track plant growth and health in CEA settings. As it collects data from across an indoor farm, LUNA uses artificial intelligence to analyze it and come up with customized growth models for individual plants. According to iUNU, LUNA analyzed almost 1 billion square feet of greenhouse plant coverage in 2019.
The startup’s most recent funding round was its Series A last December, when it raised $7 million from investors including S2G Ventures and Ceres Partners. This followed a February 2019 round which saw it net $7.5 million.
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