Kubota Corporation, the Japanese manufacturer of agricultural equipment, has invested in a ‘Series A’ venture funding investment round for Clarifruit Ltd. the end-to-end quality control solutions provider for the fresh produce industry founded in Israel.
Grapes and Blueberries growers using Clarifruit Quality Control app
With this investment, Kubota has taken steps to accelerate its innovation philosophy, with the objective of creating new business opportunities, products and services for the farming industry. The Kubota Group is intending to expand its community-focused business operations in order to deliver integrated and collaborative solutions, technological advancements and unique customer value across all segments of its business.
Clarifruit, founded in 2018 in Israel, offers an AI-powered quality control SaaS solution for the Fresh Produce supply chain. Leveraging a platform that incorporates proprietary computer-vision technology and Big Data, Clarifruit has developed a mobile application and web dashboard that collects and analyzes real-time data and provides analytics and insights into the fruit and vegetable quality control process to all supply chain players in order to enable them to make objective decisions.
The strategic positioning of Kubota as a leader in the global agriculture and equipment manufacturing sector, together with Clarifruit, will help accelerate the development of smart technologies in crop production and quality control as well as help expand operations both upstream and downstream in the food value chain. In addition, it will contribute towards the realization of an agri-platform and the establishment of Kubota as a company responsible for connecting all partners across the chain. In doing so, Kubota contributes to the entire food production system.
In 2019 Kubota established ‘Innovation Centres’ in Japan and Europe as a division for the creation of new business ventures, products and services. This division creates an eco-system which allows innovation to evolve through partnerships with external businesses such as AgTech startups, agricultural producers, research institutes and universities.
“With our Clarifruit investment, Kubota is taking the next steps in expanding its overall eco-system vision in Specialty Crops, this time in the downstream quality control value chain,” explains Peter van der Vlugt, General Manager of the Innovation Centre Europe. “With Clarifruit’s quality control process and software, we intend to improve the problem of 20% or more quality mismatches, price re-negotiations and rejections, thus contributing to the reduction of waste in the worldwide food produce sector," he said.