An innovative precision farming system developed by two Greek engineers was taken over by Italian-American multinational corporation CNH Industrial, in a $110-million deal that was publicised this week.
Augmenta, founded in 2018 by University of Thessaly alumni George Varvarelis and Dimitri Evangelopoulos, was created with a vision of transforming agriculture through automation and autonomy.
Its farming system consists of a plug-in device installed on agricultural machinery, such as tractors, to provide real-time field scanning for wiser use of resources, aimed at maximizing production and product quality.
In just five years since its launch, Augmenta’s products and services around crop input management and farm analytics have been in use across geographies in Europe, CIS, North and South America, and Australia.
Following its takeover by CNH Industrial, Augmenta said it will retain its employees and strategically invest in its location in Athens, Greece as an innovation hub.
Farming solution by Greek engineers responds to food crisis, environment concerns
The Greek-founded company’s stated mission is “to augment the capacity of arable land in a way that is beneficial for both farmers and the environment,” by enabling the former to easily optimize their inputs, have complete control over them, operate their farms sustainably, and secure or even increase their yield.
Augmenta’s device mounts on top of the roof of agriculture machinery and enables farmers “to smart apply in real-time as they go a range of in-season inputs”, in different zones for various crops, the company explained in a January announcement.
On a first level, the system helps farmers increase their production, and their profits, while product quality is also improved.
In addition, it saves on fertilizers, which benefits the environment, and maximizes food production, which is crucial as global food demand is reaching unprecedented levels due to population growth.
Two-year partnership sealed with $110-million takeover deal
Agricultural machinery giant CNH Industrial became a minority strategic shareholder and joined Augmenta’s board of directors in 2021.
On March 13, 2023, it was announced that CNH Industrial acquired 100% of the shares of Augmenta Holding SAS for $110 million.
“We are extremely excited to become part of CNH Industrial and continue building deep technological solutions together that enable a more sustainable future for farms of all sizes, as well as the environment,” commented George Varvarelis, co-founder and CEO of Augmenta.
“Our beyond-state-of-the-art ag perception stack combined with CNH Industrial’s high-quality ag equipment and tech stack will give a material advantage to farmers in their daily farming practices, resulting in increased efficiency, precision, and profitability”.
Following the takeover, Augmenta will integrate into CNH Industrial subsidy Raven, as part of the company’s precision technology portfolio.
The two companies -Augmenta and Raven- have been working together for several years as traditional business partners.