Pymwymic has invested in Aurea Imaging, a front-runner in crop intelligence for orchards. Aurea was founded on the belief that digital agronomic solutions can support fruit growers strengthen their position in the value chain and help them transition to more environmentally friendly practices. Aurea becomes Pymwymic’s second portfolio company of the Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II.
Under traditional farming methods, all trees receive the same treatment in order to reach the ideal fruit load, size, shape and colour of each fruit. Depending on the application, this results in up to 80% of trees within an orchard being treated with chemicals when it is not necessary to do so. As a typical orchard is sprayed, mowed and fertilised on average 30x a year, there is much to gain both environmentally and economically by reducing the need for such inputs.
To address this, Aurea has developed software to support precision orchard farming, in which data analysis is used to make tree-by-tree agronomic decisions (e.g. if and when to spray or prune). Aurea does this by collecting 3D vision data of trees and then processing this data into digital prescription maps which can control machinery such as sprayers, pruners and spreaders. Aurea’s solution is the practical answer to real-world challenges faced by growers, supporting better farmer economics as well as helping to significantly reduce harmful (chemical) inputs used in fruit production, thereby increasing biodiversity.
“At the core of Aurea, we work on digital tools that fruit growers apply in their daily practice. Thereby empowering growers of today with the sustainable orchard of the future.”
Bert Rijk, Founder and CEO Aurea
Data-driven solutions such as Aurea’s are what’s needed to drive the Farm to Fork strategy at the heart of the European Green Deal. By 2030, this deal is aiming to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50%. Pymwymic’s support will enable Aurea to scale its team and product offering alongside building and embedding its impact strategy, enabling growers to adopt more regenerative practices.
“We are particularly excited about the value Aurea’s offering can bring to fruit growers both economically and in supporting more sustainable practices.”
Monique Meulemans, Pymwymic Investment Manager
Aurea was founded in 2016 by Bert Rijk and is headquartered in Utrecht (NL). The Company has uniquely positioned itself by developing crop intelligence analytics that supports precision orchard farming. This technology allows fruit growers monitor and treat every single tree individually, avoiding the ‘blanket’ approach currently taken by growers. Aurea’s current sensing products include blossom, vigour and senescence mapping and have been used by many fruit growers for years. The Company is also developing a Tractor Mounted Sensor to ease the data collection & analysis for these products. Aurea is looking to enable a future where AI-powered crop intelligence optimises agronomic management and controls implements such as sprayers, pruners and spreaders – powering the precision orchards of the future through digital agronomy.
Pymwymic is one of the oldest impact investors in Europe. As a co-owned impact investment cooperative of over 200 individuals, families, entrepreneurs and angel investors, we have taken a frontrunner role in the transition towards investing with care for both people and planet since 1994. Together with institutional investors, we have launched two Sustainable Development Goals-focused impact funds. Pymwymic’s Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund I (closed in 2021) has nine portfolio companies building solutions to preserve and restore our ecosystems. We are currently investing through the Healthy Food Systems Impact Fund II, supporting the change making entrepreneurs who are transforming our food system from farm to fork.
For questions, please contact Monique Meulemans at firstname.lastname@example.org