Agtech company Semios acquires Altrac, a California-based farm automation platform

The acquisition is part of a plan to consolidate crop management solutions to make them more accessible and beneficial to farmers.

Semios, a BC agtech company, announced that it’s acquired California-based Altrac, developers of an agriculture automation platform that enables farmers to monitor and control agricultural systems from their computer or mobile device. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Why it matters: A proliferation of agritech tools has made it difficult for farmers to stay on top of critical issues facing crop yields, production and protection. Semios wants to consolidate crop management solutions to make them more accessible and beneficial to farmers, and this acquisition is an initial step to achieve that goal.

Details: “Semios’ success is founded in helping farmers manage their risk and optimize yields through data, AI-driven insights and technology,” said Dr. Michael Gilbert, CEO of Semios, in a statement. “Partnerships are a fundamental part of our strategy and last year we partnered with Altrac to combine the power of our per-acre, in-canopy climate sensors with Altrac's industry-leading frost fan automation devices to manage the potentially devastating impacts of frost on crops. Our customers were really excited about the results, which motivated us to make this investment in Altrac. We look forward to unlocking more opportunities together.”

Founded in 2010, Vancouver-based Semios offers precision agriculture as a service that includes real-time crop data and pest management tools for growers of tree fruit, nuts and other permanent crops. The Semios analytics engine draws on diverse sources of data including a wireless network of in-canopy IoT sensors on each customer farm measuring climate, soil moisture, insect and disease activity.

“Semios has been a fantastic partner, and we are excited to further our collaboration to allow Altrac to accelerate the geographic reach and adoption of our wind machine and irrigation control solutions across North America,” said Neil Schultz, General Manager and co-founder of Altrac. “We know there are additional problems facing farmers that have yet to be solved, and we look forward to tackling them together as a combined solution.” 

Notable: Semios has been named to the Global Cleantech 100, an annual list of the 100 most innovative cleantech companies globally, and the Thrive Top 50, a list of the 50 leading global AgTech companies.

Capitalized: In February of 2020, Semios raised $100 million from Boston venture capital firm Morningside Group. At the time, the company said it would use the funding to accelerate R&D, partnerships, and acquisitions—which they now have started.

Next steps: The company said it has additional acquisitions and strategic partnerships on the horizon to fulfill its plan to simplify the ability for growers to leverage farming technology.

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