Yamaha Motor Ventures, the strategic business development and investment arm of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., has led Lethbridge-based Verge Ag’s $7.5 million Series A round.
“The convergence of farm equipment, automation, and digital solutions are required to grow more food, more sustainably, and with considerably fewer resources.”
– Nolan Paul
Other investors in the round include Fall Line Capital, SP Ventures, and GrainInnovate, which is the venture capital firm Artesian’s $50 million AgTech fund. SP Ventures and Fall Line Capital previously invested in Verge last year. The amount in that round was not disclosed.
Founded in 2019, Verge is developing what it claims to be the first interactive software for farm operations planning powered by artificial intelligence (AI). With its platform named Launch Pad, farmers are provided with the ability to remotely plan and optimize the movement of farm equipment.
Launch Pad was designed to fill a gap in the efforts to automate farm operations. Having been used in North America, Latin America, Australia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Verge said that growers of broadacre row crops (such as wheat, maize, hemp) were able to show increased profitability through direct expense reduction, improved fleet optimization, and increased operational efficiencies using Launch Pad.
Ryan Johnson, CEO of Verge, said that the Series A round would enable the company to increase the adoption of Launch Pad in its key markets including the US, Latin America, EU, and Australia. Johnson added that Verge also intends to hire for roles across its engineering, marketing, sales, and corporate development teams.
Yamaha Motor Ventures invested in Verge as part of its goal to scale AgTech innovations. According to Nolan Paul, partner and global AgTech lead for Yamaha Motor Ventures, this investment underlines the firm’s thesis that precision farming technologies are important for a sustainable future for agriculture.
“The convergence of farm equipment, automation, and digital solutions are required to grow more food, more sustainably, and with considerably fewer resources,” Paul added.
Yamaha Motor Ventures has also invested in other Canadian startups, such as Vancouver-based mobile bike shop marketplace Velofix and industrial AI SaaS company Canvass Analytics. In 2020, Yamaha Motor Ventures also led Canvass’ $8.5 million Series A round.
Verge is among a growing number of Canadian AgTech companies and funds that are garnering international attention. In September, Vancouver-based startup Semios, which provides an IoT network of sensors for farmers that monitor and predict insect, disease, water, and frost risk of crops, in near real-time, raised $100 million CAD.
Earlier this year, Conexus Venture Capital’s Emmertech fund secured an additional $15 million CAD in its final closing, bringing the total fund size to $60 million. Women-focused investment firm The51 also recently launched its Food & AgTech fund.
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