CNH Industrial Acquires Augmenta for $110 million
Young farmers Dimitris Evangelopoulos and George Varvarelis came out of engineering school with a simple idea. They could not come to grips with the fact they were applying the same volume of fertilizer every time across their field. They were convinced that there must be a better way, so they got to work.
We had the privilege to –literally– sit in the passenger seat of their tractor in the Greek agricultural province of Volos five years ago. Augmenta's first prototype was rough, albeit impressive from the get-go.
The system utilizes high-definition cameras to scan every inch of the field as the tractor drives through it, then performs machine vision to identify each plant's status, and controls the sprayer to apply the precise amount of chemicals required on every inch.
George and Dimitris, along with their founding team members Katerina Karakoula and Dimitris Akridas, were on a mission to automate sustainable farming, helping growers increase their yield while substantially reducing the use of chemicals. This is a team we adore and a mission we subscribe to, we thought, and we became the first investor in the company.
Back then, agtech was more of a frontier space, rather than the greenfield opportunity it is considered today. Nevertheless, Augmenta's offering was up and running a few months later, and leading industry players were traveling all the way to Volos to experience it live in the field.
After Marathon's original $600k pre-seed ticket, the company moved on to raise a $2.5m seed round, which we co-lead along with our friends at HCVC, and an $8m Series A round, led by CNH Industrial. Across these rounds, Marathon invested a total of more than $3 million in the company.
Since then, Augmenta's offering expanded to serve the best part of available crops and farming processes out there. Its team grew to more than 50 employees, featuring world-class, hands-on engineering talent in computer vision, agronomy and AI. The company kept capturing the minds and hearts of hundreds of customers across four continents.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that Augmenta has been acquired by CNH Industrial for $110 million, entering a brand new chapter in its journey. CNH Industrial (NYSE:CNHI) is a global leader in agriculture and construction equipment, technology and services, with a house of brands that includes the iconic Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr.
CNH Industrial is the second largest global agricultural equipment manufacturer. We can expect to see Augmenta's technology being a staple in its future product portfolio! What's more, the company will continue to strategically invest in Augmenta's team and is going to turn Athens into a CNH Industrial innovation hub.
We have been proud to serve from seed to exit, in every inch of Augmenta's remarkable journey. We are also fortunate to be returning again the full Marathon Fund I back to our investors.
More importantly, we believe Augmenta has now paved the way – two young farmers, straight out of engineering school, starting from a Greek agricultural province, can really go a very long way. What are you building next?