Osram has acquired a stake in Canadian startup Motorleaf, an artificial intelligence company focused on bringing actionable, data-driven insights to greenhouse and indoor farm operators.
By providing a digital agronomist, Motorleaf’s yield prediction tools help greenhouse operators meet contract obligations, better plan weekly operations and forecast production capacities in real time. “We see strong potential in leveraging advanced data analytics to further optimise predictability and performance of production in commercial greenhouse and indoor farm production,” said Ulrich Eisele, Managing Director of Osram’s venture capital arm Fluxunit.
In initial trials with California greenhouse SunSelect, Motorleaf’s technology led to a 50% reduction in yield prediction error in tomatoes. These results were enough for SunSelect to adopt Motorleaf’s algorithms after a short trial. However, yield prediction is just the first step in Motorleaf’s solutions for producers. “Better yield prediction is only the beginning for Motorleaf’s value to this sector,” says Motorleaf CEO Alastair Monk. “We’re ultimately producing dynamic grower protocols, which help manage everything from light and nutrients to predicting crop diseases before they happen and optimised growing conditions that increase ROI – all based on real-time data.”
In this seed financing round, Fluxunit, along with financial investors Radicle Growth, Desjardins Capital, Real Ventures, BDC Capital and 500 Startups Canada invested US$ 2.85 million in Motorleaf.