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Taranis Acquires Aerial Imagery Platform Mavrx

May 17, 2018

Israeli precision agriculture intelligence platform Taranis is acquiring the assets of Mavrx, the San Francisco-based aerial imagery platform.

Taranis will integrate Mavrx’s aircraft-based ultra-high resolution (UHR) imagery product into its AI2 product line and bring existing Mavrx customers onto the Taranis platform. Taranis is also taking on some of Mavrx’s customer-facing and sales staff as well as the team that ran flight operations.

Taranis helps farmers increase their yields and cut costs by monitoring their fields with sensors, weather data, field scouting and imagery using computer vision, data science and deep learning algorithms to detect early symptoms of weeds, uneven emergence, nutrient deficiencies, disease/insect infestations, water damage, equipment problems and more. The aim is to help farmers address issues quickly and understand the impact on yield and cost of production.

It is understood that Mavrx ran into some financial and operational difficulty in recent months and was not able to service its clients for the upcoming growing season despite providing a popular product with a 90% customer renewal rate.

“As well as adding Mavrx technology to the Taranis platform, we felt we had a moral obligation to serve Mavrx’s existing clients with our product lines, especially as we saw how much they liked the Mavrx product,” Ofir Schlam, founder and CEO of Taranis told AgFunderNews. 

“We are especially excited about the synergy farmers will get immediately – UHR recognizing problematic zones, and AI2 classifying every weed, insect and disease so farmers can get the ideal prescription and improve yield,” he said in a statement.

Mavrx had the most broadly available full-field imagery product on the market at the highest resolution, according to Taranis, with 8cm-per-pixel resolution images provided by a fleet of 60 planes in 30 states across the US. The startup started offering some of its platform to users for free earlier this year.

“This is a great story for Mavrx customers who now have the full force of the Taranis product line to bear and will continue to have great aerial imagery,” said Rob Trice, Better Food Ventures, a seed stage investor in the startup. “Taranis has also picked up some excellent, strategic customers in the US ag retail channel.”

Mavrx was founded in 2012 and had raised over $12.5 million to-date in seed and Series A funding from investors including Bloomberg Beta, Eclipse Ventures, Visionnaire Ventures and Better Food Ventures.

Taranis raised a $7.5 million Series A a year ago in a round led by Finistere Ventures.

“Taranis is the technology leader in ag aerial imagery, and we saw this acquisition adding to its footprint in the Americas, while also adding richer feature sets for farmers,” said Arama Kukutai, partner at Finistere. “We are happy to support the company in implementing the strategy of creating the platform that farmers want and need. With too many subscale players in digital ag, this type of rollup is going to be more commonplace as the best-in-class players consolidate their position.”

Rob Leclerc, CEO of AgFunder, agreed that more consolidation in the aerial imagery space was likely.

“In our discussions with growers and agronomists we’ve been hearing that they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of digital imagery solutions so I would expect further consolidation as well and for companies to focus on smaller niches like tree crops where a startup can really dig into the specific challenges of a 3D dataset and solve a painpoint for growers.”

Mavrx had not responded to requests for comment by the time this story went to press.

Image: Aerial image from the Taranis dashboard taken inflight by a plane at 120 feet going 80 miles per hour

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