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Turning commercial greenhouses into predictable, demand-based manufacturers
Seattle-based iUNU raises $6 million to launch LUNA
iUNU (“you knew”) has raised $6 million from 2nd Avenue Partners, Initialized Capital, Fuel Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, and others, to bring large scale, computer vision-based, industrial manufacturing process and inventory management to the commercial greenhouse market.
"This solution turns greenhouses into data driven manufacturing plants. It is both a seriously practical and crucial commercial application of AI to a fundamental industry,” says Alexis Ohanian of Initialized Capital.
Building detailed models of individual plants
Following three years of development and testing in large scale commercial operations, LUNA combines computer vision and machine learning technologies to continuously build detailed models of individual plants, unique among millions, throughout the day. Using high resolution and 3D imagery, as well as real-time bioinformatics, LUNA monitors even the most minute changes in health of individual plants, giving growers the precise knowledge they need for proactive management.
“When we saw how differentiated LUNA is from the other solutions in this space, we knew we had to invest in iUNU,” said Liquid 2 Ventures in a statement (Joe Montana, Mike Miller, and Michael Ma). “LUNA provides a truly comprehensive understanding of each plant’s health and growth, focused on the plant’s actual performance, not just the environment around it. Closing the control loop has the potential to change the equation of the economics of commercial-scale, indoor horticulture.”
Greenhouse growers must deal with pests, diseases and other environmental threats to plants. The struggle is quantifiable: up to 20 percent of fruits and vegetables go to waste before they have even left the farm — and that number can be even higher for delicate ornamentals. At the same time, growers are under relentless pressure from retailers to deliver consistently on quantity and quality. While technologies such as sensors and cloud computing offer incremental relief to growers, LUNA offers a solution that enables greenhouses to operate as modern, demand-based, information-driven, manufacturing facilities.
Model crop and timelapse comparison
“We have built a customer focused, plant-first solution with LUNA that does more than just improve a grower’s reaction time to problems,” said Adam Greenberg, CEO of iUNU. “We reject the premise that ‘reactive mode’ is the natural state for growers. With the right technology, thoughtfully applied, we can give them better computer driven visibility, greenhouse operations can be as precise, proactive, and predictable as modern manufacturing. We are empowering growers to see and control more.”
LUNA begins to learn, and remember, the moment her cameras and sensors are first installed in your greenhouses, giving growers historical records of every detail of every plant in the system, as well as live information – everything they need to make the decisions to run their business, all in one place.
Publication date: 8/23/2017
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