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Nov. 12, 2018
Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited

Equity stake taken in Israeli agritech startup Taranis

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited (Head Office: London, U.K.; President and CEO: Takashi Yamana) (below, collectively referred to as the “Sumitomo Corporation Group”) have acquired an equity stake in A.A.A Taranis Visual Ltd. (Head Office: Israel; CEO: Ofir Schlam; below, “Taranis”), an Israeli agritech (see Note 1) company.

Throughout the world, and on a daily basis, farmers are faced with the risk of declines in yields as a result of natural disaster (extreme weather, infectious diseases, harmful insects, etc.). It is said that infectious diseases and harmful insects alone result in losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Furthermore, with climate-change risk becoming more evident, farmers around the world are increasingly required to be prepared for unexpected natural disasters.

Taranis is a startup company in the agritech sector that was founded in 2014. It provides farmers with a precision-agriculture intelligence platform (see Note 2), and offers risk-prediction/prevention solutions for crop cultivation (below, “digital crop doctor service”). Taranis uses remote sensing (see Note 3) performed by a camera loaded on a plane that flies over the farmland, and possesses innovative technology for high-speed acquisition and analysis of ultra-high-definition images (0.5mm/pixel). It also utilizes proprietary biological data and deep-learning technology for the integrated analysis of non-image data (weather, soil data, etc.), allowing it to identify crop stress levels in real time, and even predict outbreaks of infectious diseases and propose measures for tackling them. The digital crop doctor service involves the provision of advice based on information required by farmers for decision-making (germination status, weed proliferation, presence of harmful insects, and damage caused by infectious diseases or harmful insects), which improves crop yields by as much as 7.5%. The service has already been launched in some of the world’s major crop-producing regions, such as North and South America, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Sumitomo Corporation Group already operates agriculture-related businesses in 44 countries worldwide. These businesses encompass fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural machinery, and food products. By collaborating with Taranis, we expect to enhance the sophistication of these existing businesses. We also believe that we will be able to help accelerate the growth of Taranis’s business.

Going forward, we intend to continue identifying changes in the needs of society and contributing to the development of industry across the globe by investing in companies with innovative technology.

Note 1: Agritech refers to the trend of newly introducing IT in existing agricultural sectors to create new forms of agriculture.
Note 2: A precision-agriculture intelligence platform is a platform that provides advice on a PC, tablet, or smartphone screen for various types of agriculture-related decision-making.
Note 3: Remote sensing is one of the technologies for delivering precision agriculture. It allows the shapes, attributes, etc. of objects to be measured and analyzed without touching or damaging them.



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■Company profile
Company name : A.A.A Taranis Visual Ltd.
Head office : Tel Aviv, Israel
Business : Provider of precision-agriculture intelligence platform
Major shareholders : Viola Ventures, Finistere Ventures, Vertex Ventures, etc.
Founded : 2014
No. of employees : Approx. 50


■Services in photographs



■Material issues for Sumitomo Corporation
The Sumitomo Corporation Group has defined the “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This business should prove especially beneficial in “Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment,” “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries,” “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles,” and “Providing Diverse ‘Accessibility.’”

Corporate Communications Department, Sumitomo Corporation
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