synapse

Semios and Synapse breaking ground in smart agriculture

The Challenge
Semios Technologies decided to create a product that radically changes how orchard growers handle pest control. The key to the product is the use of new pesticide-free pheromones. To turn this idea into reality, they needed to create a system that could sense where the pests were breeding and automatically dispense the pheromone-based pest control in response.

Semios realized their largest challenge would be getting a system that worked in an environment with no dedicated power and where wireless signals needed to travel through the hundreds of acres of dense foliage. That is where SNAP-based technology from Synapse provided the answer.

The Solution
Semios decided to use SNAP-based RF modules and gateways as the foundation of their product. The SNAP-based RF modules gave Semios the ability to collect and transmit data using batteries to power their devices and without needing the batteries replaced for over a year.

Semios discovered they could leverage the mesh networking capabilities of the SNAP-based RF modules to relay signals from their devices to SNAP-based Gateways. This allowed them to deploy thousands of devices over hundreds of acres without having to rely on longer-range devices that weren’t capable of sending large amounts of data.

The Results
Semios created a revolutionary, environmentally-friendly method of controlling pest populations in a fraction of the time by using SNAP-based RF modules and Gateways. Plus, because of the flexibility of SNAP, Semios gained the ability to expand their product offering by using the pest control sensors as a backbone for other smart agriculture applications, including soil moisture monitoring, disease detection, and frost warning surveillance.

Source: Synapse

3bl

Semios and Arrow Team on Sustainable, Data-Driven Farming Solutions

CENTENNIAL, CO, April 11, 2017/3BL Media/ – Semios and Arrow Electronics have collaborated on an innovative and sustainable crop management solution that helps growers of tree fruits and tree nuts reduce their use of harmful agricultural pesticide practices.

Semios’ variable-rate, pheromone-based pest management system leverages an insects’ own natural communication methods to prevent damage to fruit crops. The internet of things (IoT) solution includes a network of nodes deployed across a crop—including remotely controlled pheromone dispensers and camera-enabled pest traps, on-field weather stations and other data sensors all wirelessly connected to a central, solar-powered gateway. When activated, the gateway provides raw data to a cloud database, where it is stored, analyzed, and provided to farmers on their mobile devices.

Using Semios’ predictive analytics, fruit and nut growers can make improved, proactive crop management decisions to reduce risk, improve quality and enhance yields.

In field trials and large commercial deployments, the Semios system demonstrated pest management on par or better than treatments based solely on chemical pesticides. In addition, the system reduces dependency on chemical spraying, lowering its potentially harmful effects on soil, air and water.

Semios collaborated with global technology-solutions provider Arrow from the product-development stage of its sustainable pest-management system. The two companies continue to work together on developing additional sustainable, cost-effective turnkey agricultural technologies.

“Arrow has proven to be more than just a supplier of electronic components,” said Dr. Michael Gilbert, founder and CEO of Semios. “With their product development expertise and broad logistics network, Arrow is helping Semios deliver our sustainable crop management solutions to farmers and growers around the world.”

Click here to learn more about the sustainable Semios crop management platform

About Semios
Founded in 2010, Semios is a precision farming technology company dedicated to reducing and mitigating crop risks for growers of tree fruits and tree nuts. We leverage our proprietary, internet of things (IoT) wireless network and big data analytics to help farmers manage insect pests, disease, weather and irrigation. We improve sustainability by reducing the crop management inputs, including toxic pesticides, and we increase the profitability with bigger harvests at higher grades. Semios provides comprehensive in-field installation, service and support to enable growers to maximize results from the adoption of our system.

About Arrow Electronics
Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for more than 125,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 465 locations serving over 90 countries. Learn more at www.fiveyearsout.com.

Source: 3BL Media

Ag Funder news

Canadian Govt Joins PE Investors to Back Pest-Reducing Sensor Company’s $9m Seed Round

SemiosBio Technologies, a Canada-headquartered company, manufacturing sensors for specialty crop orchards, has raised nearly $9 million in seed funding.

The company, which has 50k sensors deployed over 10k acres of land worldwide, raised the funding from a group of individual private equity investors and the Canadian government, according to a press release.

Leading the investment group was Reid Carter, who’s a managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management focused particularly on its timberland assets.

The Government of Canada made its investment through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, $698 million initiative.

“The government is pleased to support this innovative project that will help the sector adopt fully integrated pest management systems,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in a statement. “Initiatives such as these help farmers continue to be good stewards of the land, while maintaining their competitiveness.

Semios promises growers real-time insights into the risks associated with weather, pests, disease, frost and irrigation through its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform.

The sensors it deploys measure a range of different conditions including leaf wetness and soil moisture, but they also undertake actions such as trapping insects and dispensing pheromones.

Pheromones can interrupt pest mating seasons and actively control pest numbers. With the decline in bees and other beneficial insect species, non-toxic and specifies-specific pheromone products are becoming an increasingly important alternative to insecticides.

“We are at a pivotal point in the company’s growth,” said Michael Gilbert, founder and CEO of Semios in a statement. “Adoption of our platform is accelerating, and our growers are asking for more features and services. With this new level of investor expertise and confidence, we’ll be able to expand the platform and accelerate the growth of our business.”

The funding will go towards expanding the services the company offers growers, such as new aerosol pheromone formulas to target an increasing number of pests prevalent in orchards and vineyards. It will also go towards increasing its sales efforts, R&D, and improving its big data analytics to better predict the risk of frost inversions, diseases, and non-optimized irrigation.

“Semios continues to demonstrate an exceptional level of innovation and functionality in its precision farming platform and is now at a stage where more resources will help meet the exponential growth in demand for operational deployment,” said Carter in a statement.

While Semois was founded in 2010, it didn’t start selling sensors until 2014. This latest round adds to some $6 million of earlier seed investment from the last four years, according to a spokesperson. Haywood Securities, an investment firm out of the UK, helped with the fundraising.

Source: AgFunder News

vancouver sun

Vancouver-based Semios harvests revenue from research

Good news comes in bunches for Semios.

The Vancouver-based agriculture tech firm has announced a private capital infusion of $8 million, a $1-million grant from Agriculture Canada and two regulatory approvals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California.

“These investors are very bullish on our technology and they have had success in the ag-tech space before,” said Semios CEO Michael Gilbert.

But that’s not all. After several years of field trials on the company’s pheromone-based insect control and precision temperature and moisture sensor systems, Semios will realize $2 million in positive cash flow this growing season from orchardists in B.C., Washington and California.

“That is going to be annual recurring revenue,” said Gilbert. Orchardists pay a subscription for the services and analytics provided by Semios, which can be accessed by computer or smartphone.

Semios systems use thousands of wireless sensors and real-time analytics to monitor temperature, soil moisture, disease and pest pressure in fruit and nut orchards and to direct exactly when and where to apply pest controls, water and other resources. Frost prediction helps direct planting and harvesting to reduce crop losses, while disease sensing informs precision application of anti-fungals.

“We want to be the new Farmers’ Almanac,”said Gilbert. “But instead of being accurate to within a few weeks we want to predict things like frost down to 12 hours. It’s a cruel trick of nature that the most frost-prone land is also the land that produces the best fruit.”

The federal investment — award through the Growing Forward 2 program — will be used to develop surveillance tools for fire blight in apples, and downy and powdery mildews in grapes, with field testing in locations across the country

Much of the private cash will be applied to expanding the firm’s data analytics department in an effort to develop new services for farmers from the tsunami of sensor data rolling in from clients.

With 50,000 sensors over 4,000 hectares reporting every 10 minutes, there is no shortage of Big Data to sift through.

“We could grow organically now that we have cash flow, but we would like to expand and hire analysts,” said Gilbert. “Everything in agriculture is driven by moisture and temperature and the relationships between them and other factors, so we know we can learn a lot more from that data about those relationships.”

Semios will also introduce new aerosol pheromone formulas for vineyards. The pheromone-based systems are designed to reduce or replace the use of toxic pesticides for insect control.

Source: Vancouver Sun

food in canada

Canada invests in tech to forecast farm fruit diseases

This project from SemiosBio Technologies Inc. will focus specifically on fire blight in apples, and downy and powdery mildews in grapes.

The Government of Canada is investing nearly a million dollars ($949,322) in a project to develop wireless technology that’s capable of predicting diseases that affect farm output.

This investment with Vancouver-based SemiosBio Technologies Inc. is expected to provide farmers with real-time localized information to better manage plant diseases and optimize the use of pesticides. This project will focus specifically on fire blight in apples, and downy and powdery mildews in grapes, with field testing in locations across the country.

SemiosBio is a company that provides safe and environmentally-friendly pest management solutions to growers of tree fruits, nuts and grapes. The company has already developed a sensor and pest management system for codling moths in apples, with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

This current investment is being made through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698 million initiative.

“The government is pleased to support this innovative project that will help the sector adopt fully integrated pest management systems. Initiatives such as these help farmers continue to be good stewards of the land, while maintaining their competitiveness,” says Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

“The agriculture industry is under tremendous pressure to produce more food with less environmental impact. To do this we need to optimize inputs such as insecticides, fungicides and water. Leveraging a proprietary internet-of-things (IoT) wireless network of 50,000 sensors and big data analytics, Semios delivers a precision ag service to measure and manage disease risks with less chemical inputs. With the financial support from AAFC, Semios will help growers better understand and predict crop disease, with focused treatments when and where needed,” adds Michael Gilbert, CEO of SemiosBIO.

Source: Food in Canada

cantech letter

Vancouver’s Semios raises $8 million funding for pest control platform

Vancouver’s Semios, a provider of agricultural precision pest management technology, has closed an $8 million financing round, led by a group of private investors from the Agtech community, with an assist from Haywood Securities.
Founded in 2010, Semios claims to have seen over 200% annual growth for its patented Semios platform, which monitors the quantity of pests, along with flight strength, wind patterns and temperature to optimize pheromone deployment in the field, all through a single interface that a farmer can easily control.
Brookfield Asset Management Managing Partner Reid Carter, who was recently appointed to the Semios board as a representative of the funding group said, “Semios continues to demonstrate an exceptional level of innovation and functionality in its precision farming platform and is now at a stage where more resources will help meet the exponential growth in demand for operational deployment.”
Semios plans to use the funds to expand sales, services and R&D efforts.
Demand for the Semios pest control platform is partly driven by the recent decline in the bee population and other beneficial insect species, owing to which farmers and regulatory agencies are increasingly looking to non-toxic and specifies-specific pheromone products and insecticide alternatives.

“We are at a pivotal point in the company’s growth with more than 50,000 sensors deployed and over 10,000 acres under management,” said Semios Founder and CEO Michael Gilbert. “Adoption of our platform is accelerating and our growers are asking for more features and services. With this new level of investor expertise and confidence, we’ll be able to expand the platform and accelerate the growth of our business.”
Last month, Semios received approvals from both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Pest Regulation (DPR) for their aerosol pheromone biopesticide products aimed at disrupting the mating habits of the Navel Orangeworm.
The Semios platform offers farmers real-time remote access to monitoring field conditions on an acre-by-acre basis, helping to manage deployment of pheromones, frost prevention and optimization of irrigation schedules, reducing risk, protecting crops and increasing crop profitability.
Semios will continue adding new services, including novel aerosol pheromone formulas targeting orchard and vineyard pests, along with platform enhancements including improved big data analytics to predict the risk of frost inversions, diseases and non-optimized irrigation.

Source: Cantech Letter

ein news logo

Semios raises $8M in private equity financing

Semios, a leading provider of real-time agricultural information and precision pest management tools, today announced it has closed an $8 million financing with private equity individuals from the Agtech community, with assistance from Haywood Securities.

Founded in 2010, Semios has grown to be the largest worldwide network of sensors and control devices in specialty crops. The Semios internet-of-things (IoT) solution provides real-time insights into risks associated with weather, pests, disease, frost and irrigation on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis.

Combining remote access to real-time field conditions and acre-by-acre metered delivery of inputs is the cornerstone of precision agriculture. Semios enables improved deployment of pheromones, frost prevention and optimization of irrigation schedules. These types of services help reduce risks, protect valuable crops and ultimately improve the grower’s profitability.

Michael Gilbert, Founder and CEO of Semios, said, “We are at a pivotal point in the company’s growth with more than 50,000 sensors deployed and over 10,000 acres under management. Adoption of our platform is accelerating and our growers are asking for more features and services. With this new level of investor expertise and confidence, we’ll be able to expand the platform and accelerate the growth of our business.”

With over 200% annual growth, the company will use the funds to expand sales, services and R&D efforts. The team continues to add new services including novel aerosol pheromone formulas to target more orchard and vineyard pests. With the decline in bees and other beneficial insect species, non-toxic and specifies-specific pheromone products are becoming an increasingly important alternative to insecticides. Other enhancements to the platform include improved big data analytics to predict the risk of frost inversions, diseases and non-optimized irrigation.

Reid Carter, a recently appointed Semios Board Member representing the new investment group said, “Semios continues to demonstrate an exceptional level of innovation and functionality in its precision farming platform and is now at a stage where more resources will help meet the exponential growth in demand for operational deployment.”

About Semios

Semios is a precision farming company dedicated to reducing and mitigating risks for growers of tree fruits, nuts and grapes. We leverage our proprietary internet of things (IoT) wireless network and big data analytics to help manage insect pests, disease, frost and irrigation. We improve sustainability, reduce inputs and increase value of harvests. Delivered as a full service solution, Semios is easy to start and simple to use.

Source: EIN NEWS

financial post

The best way to price your product is to prove it works, and the IoT is making that possible

This is not a story about moths or sex. It’s about the future of your business. But let’s start with the moths.

Across North America, orchard owners are fighting a desperate battle against the codling moth. At the larval stage, these voracious predators tunnel into apples, pears and plums, where they snack on the seeds and ruin the fruit. Left unchecked, it could destroy 80 per cent of a fruit crop.

Science is fighting back. One of the most popular defenses against the codling moth is “mating disruption.” Farmers place pheromone dispensers around their orchards that spray out synthesized scents like those released by female moths to attract amorous males. Result: the male moths get confused when they can’t find their mates, and fly away unsatisfied. Generations of larvae go unborn, and farmers increase their crop yields while minimizing use of pesticides.

But synthetic moth hormones are expensive, so farmers are getting help from Semios, a Vancouver-based tech company that covers orchards with wireless sensors, mini-cameras, pest traps and pheromone dispensers that enable fruit growers to monitor conditions throughout their property and trigger their scent sprayers through a computer or smartphone.

“Semios is the most complex company I know,” said Steven Forth, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Vancouver-based TeamFit. Its array of data, collected through its proprietary communications systems, give farmers more information, and control, than they’ve ever had. As a result, Forth told a recent Toronto conference on pricing, “They get an annual subscription price of US$180 to US$260 an acre.” How do you like them apples?

The theme of this conference was “Future-proofing your revenue model.” As I noted last week, the conference’s first half dealt mainly with the psychology of pricing. The second half was more complex, exploring the growing links between pricing, data and the emerging Internet of Things, or IoT.

When people start discussing machine-to-machine communications, I usually leave the room. But Forth’s moth story caught my interest. IoT isn’t just about collecting more data – it’s about creating knowledge and aggressive new pricing models based not on guesswork, but on understanding exactly how your product or service creates value.

“Pricing should be based on how the customer gets and perceives value,” Forth said. He predicts data-driven vendors such as Semios “will sweep across all industries.” As the IoT creates a new world of data-driven decision-making, the companies that generate the highest profit margins will be those that can prove their products work and demonstrate exactly how much value they create.

For instance, Forth said, the value of paint isn’t found in the size of the bucket, but in how much wall area it will cover. “You have to know your value drivers. And you have to know how to extend your data model to capture the data you need for better pricing.”

If your head’s not spinning now, it should be. “We’re going into uncharted territory,” noted conference organizer Augustin Manchon, a Toronto-based pricing consultant. “The Internet of Things is an amazing platform for discovering new pricing models no one has ever used.”

Brendan O’Brien, co-founder and chief evangelist of Philadelphia-based Aria Systems, contends the IoT will not just create new businesses, but also new opportunities to sell. Aria helps companies develop recurring-revenue models, like Semios’s, turning what might have been a one-time service into a contract.

Businesses that chase single sales spend a fortune on customer acquisition, and then another on customer re-acquisition, O’Brien said. By developing recurring services for your customers, you create “not just one transaction, but a textured relationship around hopefully infinite future transactions.”

As an example he cites Netflix, which leveraged online streaming to change the video-rental business into a value-priced annual subscription model. Last year, Audi launched beta-testing in San Francisco for “Audi on Demand,” a premium, app-based car-sharing service.

Then there’s Amazon.com’s much-derided Dash Button, a handheld branded “clicker” for Tide detergent, Kraft Dinner, and other consumer staples. The device connects with your home WiFi network; when you’re about to run out of a product, you “click” the button and Amazon will rush out a replacement, usually by the next day. (The service is not yet available in Canada.) While many pundits have laughed off those clunky clickers and the narrow consumerism they represent, O’Brien said Amazon is developing “a tethered, ongoing relationship with its customers.”

He contends every company should be developing recurring business models. Identify the data that drives your business, then figure out what additional knowledge or services you need to hook your customers to a steady drip of your product. “You have to be fast and agile to deal with the changed services landscape,” O’Brien warned. “We are about to embark on the greatest competitive landscape of all time. You don’t have five to seven years to do something and bring it to market.”

Rick Spence is a writer, consultant and speaker specializing in entrepreneurship.

Source: Financial Post

western farm press

California DPR, EPA approve Semios NOW control

Pheromone biopesticide can be used for mating disruption programs.

California has approved another tool for growers working to control the navel orangeworm (NOW).

Semios was granted label approval by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and similar approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an aerosol pheromone biopesticide that disrupts NOW mating.

According to the company, the Semios NOW pheromone aerosol formulas give farmers the ability to reduce and control pest populations and, as a result, significantly reduce crop damage. The pheromone aerosol dispenser is part of a custom designed controller and sensor network.

The Semios platform includes in-field camera traps that monitor the number of pests and flight strength, which when combined with wind, temperature and other environmental conditions measured and reported by Semios, optimize pheromone deployment. The combination of traps, pheromone dispensers and other sensors on the same network means farmers can deploy the right amount of pheromones where and when needed through a single interface.

Semios NOW Plus and Semios NOW Standard (for organic growers) are available for control of NOW in orchards growing walnuts, pistachios, almonds, dates, figs, citrus, pome and stone fruits.

Pheromones are a naturally occurring part of the communication systems used by insects. Semios uses pheromones to disrupt the mating cycle of insects, thus diminishing pest populations and reducing crop damage.

Semios is a precision farming platform that provides real-time information and pest management tools for the tree fruit, nut and grape growers. Semios combines hardware with powerful secure online software that monitors field and weather conditions and allows remote pest monitoring and deployment of mating disruption pheromones.

Source: Western Farm Press

fruit growers news

EPA approves biopesticide for navel orangeworm

Semios has received EPA approval and California Department of Pest Regulation approval for aerosol pheromone biopesticide products that disrupt the mating of the navel orangeworm (NOW).

The Semios platform includes in-field camera traps that monitor the number of pests and flight strength. When combined with wind, temperature and other environmental conditions measured and reported by Semios, pheromone deployment is optimized, according to Semios. The combination of traps, pheromone dispensers and other sensors on the same network means farmers can deploy the right amount of pheromones where and when needed through a single interface, the company said.

Semios NOW Plus and Semios NOW Standard (for organic growers) are available for control of NOW in orchards growing dates, figs, citrus, pome and stone fruits.

Pheromones are a naturally occurring part of the communication systems used by insects. Semios uses pheromones to disrupt the mating cycle of insects, the company said. Pheromones do not kill or damage the target insects and, as pheromones are species-specific and only target the specific pest, pollinators and other beneficial insect species are not affected, according to the company.

Source: Fruit Growers News