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PhytlSigns raises CHF 500 000 for a plant monitoring system

16.02.2022
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The ‘Fitbit of Plants’ uses AI sensors to monitor crops

 

The startup Vivent provides growers with a technology to monitor plants’ health and thereby improve both yield and sustainability. The CHF 500 000 Tech Growth loan from the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) will fund the development and launch of a new plant monitoring system intended for larger fields and glasshouse installations.

Today, farmers only achieve about 40% of the theoretical maximum yield and lose 60% of crops before harvest to pests, weeds and diseases. To reduce this waste, Vivent’s technology PhytlSigns taps into plant signaling networks to monitor crop health in real-time. Using machine learning models, PhytlSigns provides early warnings of a wide range of crop stressors. Growers can adjust growing conditions, such as temperature, humidity, irrigation or fertiliser recipes.

The ‘Fitbit of plants’, PhytlSigns is the first commercial crop health diagnostic system based on plant electrophysiology – the collection of internal electrical, mechanical, and chemical signaling networks plants use to coordinate growth, reproduction, and defense.

Thanks to the early and precise alerts, pests and diseases can be treated with environmentally friendly crop protection. In short: more food, fewer chemicals.

Last autumn, Phytlsigns already received € 1.8 million of funding from ePlant and Astanor Ventures.

 

Picture: Carrol Plummer and Nigel Wallbridge, Co-Founders of Vivent Sarl